Evan Turner Leads Sixers To Victory Over Lowly Cavs, 86-79
11/19/2012 10:00:00 AM
The Sixers employed a stifling defense to overcome a sluggish start as they defeated the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, 86-79, on Sunday night in South Philadelphia.
The Sixers (6-4) trailed for most of the first three quarters before a Jrue Holiday three-pointer with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter gave his team a lead that they would not relinquish.
While Holiday has been the team’s brightest star in the early goings, it was Evan Turner who put forth the team’s best performance last night. The third-year forward out of Ohio State scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out a career-high nine assists to go along with a block and a steal.
Is this a sign of things to come or just another tease to a fan base that has placed lofty expectations on the former number two overall draft pick? Doug Collins isn’t worried about that, he just wants Turner to enjoy playing the game.
“Evan shows flashes,” Collins told reporters after the game. “Evan is a perfectionist. He absolutely works harder than anyone on our team in the offseason. He comes into the season and puts a high ceiling on himself.
“When he plays a game like tonight, I want him to be joyful.”
Turner said after the game that he knows what he has to do to take the next step in his development.
“I want to play well, obviously,” said Turner. “You’re never happy with messing up. I just want to play well and find consistency.”
Holiday finished the game with 14 points. Spencer Hawes (14), Nick Young (13) and Jason Richardson (12) all had double-digit scoring nights as well.
Cleveland (2-8) shot 35.7 percent from the field. The Sixers are 4-0 when holding opponents to 40 percent or less this year.
The Cavaliers’ young backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters combined for 14 points on 6-of-27 shooting. They also had eight turnovers between them.
After the game, Collins said that he thought his team looked too good in the preseason and that things came too easily to the Sixers on offense. This team’s success is predicated on defense and that’s how they’ll have to win without Andrew Bynum, who told reporters before the game that he injured his other knee while bowling.
“We’re 6-4 averaging 89 points a game and having four guys shooting under 40 percent,” said Collins. “We’re 5-2 in our last seven games. I want us to accentuate what we’re doing to hang tough and win games. We could easily lose these and our guys have no done it.
“I’m incredibly proud of them as we’re trying to find some kind of way to get some kind of rhythm.”