Behind LeBron James’ 37 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, the Cleveland Cavaliers left Philadelphia with a 95-85 win Sunday night against the lowly Sixers.
Things got off to a rough (and painful) start for the Cavs …
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) January 10, 2016
Timofey Mozgov was benched for the entire second half after heaving up an ill-advised three-pointer.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
After setting a franchise record by scoring 120 points in three straight games, the Cavs went cold against the Sixers. The only one playing with a sense of urgency seemed to be James, which is why he made nearly half the baskets (15 of 35) and rescued the Cavs from an embarrassing defeat at Wells Fargo Center. […] The Sixers were within 81-79 when James re-entered the game with 7:32 to play. The Sixers didn’t score again for nearly six minutes while James scored 12 of the game’s next 14 points. The Sixers missed eight shots (including two free throws), turned it over three times and regressed into a team more fitting their 4-36 record.
James seemed annoyed at times, particularly in the first half. He had words for Timofey Mozgov more than once (more on him in a bit), he was frustrated when Matthew Dellavedova didn’t see him open in the post and he slammed a towel coming out of a timeout after giving the rest of his teammates a stern jawing. So he did it himself in the fourth. […] “He’s been doing that for a long time. It’s nothing new,” coach David Blatt said. “We have confidence in him and obviously he has the confidence to make the plays because he’s done it so many times. Sometimes you’re better not having to be in that situation. Tonight was one of those nights.”
Blatt conceded Mozgov’s second-half benching was partly due to that play, but indicated there was more to it than just that. The Cavs played small the entire second half. Despite benching Mozgov, he didn’t go back to (Anderson) Varejao. […] For his part, Mozgov acknowledged taking the shot was a mistake. “Sometimes it’s the wrong shot,” he said. “It’s not like you every time take the right shot. Sometimes it’s the wrong shot.”