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Turner powers Sixers past Cavaliers

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- It was a bit of a homecoming for Philadelphia 76ers swingman Evan Turner on Friday.

Turner, a former star at Ohio State, ran roughshod over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Sixers' 97-87 victory before 17,324 at Quicken Loans Arena.

He finished with a game-high 23 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for the Sixers (29-43), who have won two in a row.

"The fans (in Cleveland) have always treated me great," he said. "The fans were still cheering me as I walked off the court. (My time at Ohio State) was a positive time in my life, and they are positive people.

"Sometimes (as a pro), you're judged so harshly, so it's great to be in that atmosphere."

Sixers coach Doug Collins said he put the ball in Turner's hands a lot.

"We liked his match-up," Collins said. "He could use his strength to play down by the foul line and under.

"I've always felt like when Evan comes back here, there is a little added pressure (with him playing at Ohio State). Tonight might have been his best game that he has played in Cleveland and we needed that."

The Cavs (22-49) were officially eliminated from the playoff race with the loss. Of course, they never resembled a playoff team at any point this season.

They've lost seven in a row, as well as 11 of their last 13.

They are banged up, their psyche is shaken and they just don't have enough bodies to compete.

Cavs coach Byron Scott said the team hasn't given up on the season. But he said the Cavs need to have six or seven guys playing well to win right now, and they didn't get that on Friday.

"The only way we're going to win right now is as a team," Scott said. "Everybody has to play together."

The Cavs had five players reach double figures in scoring, led by swingman C.J. Miles' 19 points and five rebounds. Center Tyler Zeller recorded his seventh double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and one block.

Other than that, though, there wasn't much to discuss.

"This same team won't be here next season," Scott said. "That's just reality. It's the NBA."

One player in a major funk is Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson, who managed 10 points and five rebounds. When the ball went into the post, it didn't come out.

"He struggled big time on both ends," Scott said. "When the ball got to him, it stuck. He didn't get back on defense. Their bigs run.

"He wasn't able to get his shots. He thought he got fouled a few times and that might have affected him."

Thompson made just 4 of 11 shots from the field, 2 of 7 from the foul line.

"Those were shots I've made all season," he said. "It was a night when they weren't going down. It's definitely frustrating, but we have to keep our heads up and stay together as a team."

The Sixers' starters outscored the Cavs' first unit 84-50. The real discrepancy came in the frontcourt, where the 76ers' starters mauled the Cavs, 57-30.

Turner really put a hurting on the Cavs. He converted 9 of 17 shots from the field.

"He's a pretty good basketball player," Scott said. "He can make some shots and beat you off the dribble."

The 76ers shot 48.8 percent from the field, compared to the Cavs' 43 percent.

The 76ers took control of the game in the third quarter, when they outscored the Cavs, 32-21. They led by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter, 77-66.

The Cavs had an opportunity to cut their deficit to two points midway through the final period. However, Miles' turnover led to a 3-pointer by Sixers guard Jrue Holiday's with 6:20 to play to put the Sixers back up by seven points.

They were never seriously threatened again.

Forward Thaddeus Young contributed 18 points and six rebounds for the Sixers, while center Spencer Hawes recorded his sixth double-double in the last eight games with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Holiday added 20 points for the Sixers.

The Cavs are playing without their backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. There's a chance they could miss the rest of the season.

"Guys were trying to do too much at times," Scott said. "I can't worry about the guys that aren't playing."

Notes: Holiday is the son of Shawn Holiday, a former college teammate of Scott's at Arizona State. Jrue's brother, Justin, played on the Cavs' summer-league team and was invited to training camp. He's now playing for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. "I played with his dad," Scott said. "He was my backcourt mate. We go way back. (Shawn) has a younger (son) that he thinks might be better than both of them." Aaron Holiday is a standout at Campbell Hall High School in LA. ... Rumors swirled in August the Cavaliers were interested in trading for Lakers center Andrew Bynum. However, luckily for the Cavs, it was Philadelphia that stepped in and acquired the 7-foot All-Star in a four-team trade on Aug. 10, 2012. Bynum hasn't played a game for the 76ers, which derailed their season. After making the playoffs last year, they came into Friday's game at Quicken Loans Arena 15 games under .500. "The Bynum trade threw them off," Scott said. "After making that trade, everybody, including myself, thought they'd be one of the better teams in the East. When he doesn't play, that throws off everything." ... Cavs fans can't help but keep a keen eye on the Lakers this season. If they qualify for the Western Conference playoffs, the Cavs get their first-round pick in the 2013 draft. "I'll watch on ESPN and when they lose, it's like, 'Damn!' " Scott said. "I keep my eye on them more because we can get their pick." ... Collins is thrilled for his son, Chris, who was named Northwestern coach on Thursday. "He's ready," he said. "He said, 'I'm not chasing anyone's legacy. I'm there to create one.' "
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