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Collins' future cloudy as 76ers win home finale

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The 76ers easily dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers 91-77 in Philadelphia's home finale Sunday afternoon, but there was more intrigue about potential off-the-court happenings than what went on at the Wells Fargo Center.

Doug Collins, in what could be his final game in Philadelphia as the 76ers coach, declined to address reports published Thursday that said, citing unnamed NBA sources, the organization privately hopes Collins doesn't come back in 2013-14 for what would be his fourth season.

Collins, whose team option was picked up for more than $4 million next season, took a direct approach with the media before the game, saying, "So what do you want to know about Cleveland because everything else is moot?"

The Sixers, in large part due to prized acquisition Andrew Bynum not playing at all because of bone bruises on both knees, failed to make the playoffs for the first time in Collins' three years.

Collins owns a 109-119 record as coach of the Sixers.

"The expectations, the moves that were made in the offseason -- I give (majority owner Josh Harris) and the organization credit (because) they swung for the fences," Collins said. "Unfortunately, with Andrew getting hurt, it changed the whole dynamics of our season."

As for the Cavaliers, earlier this month, they picked up the 2013-14 option picked on coach Byron Scott for more than $4 million. Scott has also heard rumblings about his future, partially due to 24-56 Cleveland's disappointing season. Scott is 64-164 in three years with the Cavaliers.

"It really doesn't bother me," Scott said. "It's part of the job. When you have games and practice, it's your outlet. It's when you have idle time it bugs you more than anything."

Scott, who is a good friend of Collins, seems unfazed by the persistent rumors about his future with the Cavs.

"We've been doing this for a while -- coach Collins has been doing it much longer than I have," he said. "The first time I got a coaching job, a good friend of mine told me, 'Coaches are hired to be fired.'"

The Sixers led from start to finish Sunday, jumping out to a 19-3 lead 6 1/2 minutes into the game.

Scott wasn't pleased with his team's performance.

"Lack of effort, as simple as that," Scott said. "It's disappointing. That's why you yank guys out (of the game) and bring other guys in."

Wayne Ellington, who had 12 points for Cleveland, admitted the Cavs have "been up and down since I've been here. We've had some good moments and some bad. I think it's the result of having a really young team."

Tristan Thompson and Maurice Speights also scored 12 points apiece for Cleveland.

Dorell Wright led six Sixers in double figures with 15 points. Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes each had 14.

"Coach always talks about protecting home court," Holiday said. "To end this last home game as a win by a pretty big margin felt good."

The 76ers ended up 23-18 at home, but they are just 10-29 on the road.

"You have years like this," Hawes said. "This was the first year we had a lot of expectations on this group. It's funny how that works."

NOTES: At halftime, the Sixers honored members of the 1982-83 NBA championship team, including Julius Erving and Moses Malone. Erving, as usual, received the loudest and longest ovation. ... Scott, on what former Sixers big man Speights, who is a Cleveland reserve, needs to do to improve: "Probably just play a little bit harder at times." ... The Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson returned after missing five games with a sore right elbow to score two points and 12 minutes. ... Luke Walton (sprained ankle) and Shaun Livingston (back spasms) were out for Cleveland. ... The Sixers close out the season by visiting the Detroit Pistons (Monday) and Indiana Pacers (Wednesday), while the Cavaliers host the Miami Heat (Monday) and visit the Charlotte Bobcats (Wednesday).
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