James, Cleveland crave fourth straight win

James, Cleveland crave fourth straight win

Earlier this month, the 76ers gave Cleveland all it could handle. But is today’s rematch bound to be more lopsided?

Handicappers have reached a verdict. According to online sports book Bovada.lv, the Cavaliers opened as 12.5-point road favorites against Brett Brown’s team. The over/under rests at 210.

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On Nov. 5, the defending champs eked out a 102-101 victory over Philadelphia. LeBron James collected 25 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. The Sixers also failed to neutralize Kevin Love, who posted a double-double with relative ease.

Then again, the power forward’s making everything look quite simple right now. After torching Portland for 40 points on Thanksgiving Eve, Love followed up with an 8-of-14 shooting performance vs. Dallas. The California native’s converting 42 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc through 14 games.

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Philly (4-12) can only dream of such marksmanship. However, it would probably settle for getting Joel Embiid back at full strength. The rookie center is being limited to 24 minutes per contest in an effort to protect his problematic feet. Even with an unencumbered Embiid, though, the 76ers would struggle to match Cleveland. Expect the visiting squad to improve to 13-2 overall.

 

SUNDAY NBA FREE PICK: 76ERS/CAVALIERS UNDER 209 POINTS

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