Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/18/12
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers, one of the NBA's lowest-scoring teams, searched for offensive answers throughout the early stages of the season. On Sunday, struggling Evan Turner provided one, scoring 19 points to lead the Sixers to an 86-79 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Turner, a third-year guard/forward, also had nine assists and six rebounds as the Sixers (6-4) won their second straight. Jrue Holiday added 14 points and nine assists, and he contributed some strong defense against Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving. Irving, the NBA's third-leading scorer at 24.4 points a game, was limited to a season-low nine points on 4-for-14 shooting. Afterward, Philadelphia coach Doug Collins was most concerned with his team's work at the offensive end. The Sixers began the game 29th in the league in points scored (89.2 per game) and 28th in shooting percentage (.408). "Every game is a grind," Collins said. "We just struggle to shoot that ball. We're just not in a great rhythm offensively. Guys just have not played enough with one another. We're not sure about plays." The Sixers shot only 42.5 percent in the game, 38.1 percent in the first half, but they received a lift from Turner. The second overall pick in the 2010 draft, he was averaging just 10.7 points on 37.4 percent shooting. He shot 8-for-12 from the floor Sunday, and his point total was his second highest of the season, exceeded only by a 25-point effort against Boston on Nov. 9. "Evan shows flashes," Collins said. "The whole thing with him is, just stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Evan is a perfectionist. He absolutely works harder than anybody on our team, and he comes into the season and just puts a ceiling on himself." Turner said, "I want to play well, obviously, and you're never happy when you're messing up, but it's normal. ... I don't really worry too much about that stuff anymore. I just want to play well and just find consistency." Turner contributed two baskets to a 9-2 Sixers spree late in the game, allowing Philadelphia to stretch a 75-73 advantage to 84-75 with 1:49 left. Holiday assisted on both field goals, as well as one by Spencer Hawes. "I think we're learning," Holiday said. "We're learning to close out games -- what to do, where to go to. It feels good." Hawes and Nick Young scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Sixers. Jason Richardson finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Philadelphia limited Cleveland to a season-low point total. The Cavaliers (2-8), who dropped their sixth straight, shot 35.7 percent from the field, another season low. "We had some good looks on the offensive end, but we got a little stagnant toward the end," Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. "I think a little bit of that had to do with fatigue." Alonzo Gee scored 17 points, and Anderson Varejao had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 13 boards. Turner scored 11 points and Young had 10 in the first half, which ended with the Sixers holding a 43-42 lead. Varejao had eight points and seven rebounds in the first two quarters for Cleveland, while Gee scored eight points. The Sixers, who led most of the second half, extended their advantage to 69-59 with 9:05 left in the game on a 3-pointer by Richardson. But the Cavs went on a 12-4 run featuring six points by rookie forward Tyler Zeller, cutting the deficit to 73-71 with 4:53 remaining. After an exchange of baskets, Turner hit a jumper from the left corner off a feed from Holiday. That triggered the decisive 9-2 flurry. NOTES: Sixers center Andrew Bynum, who has yet to play or practice this season because of knee problems, confirmed before the game an ESPN report indicating he incurred a bone bruise in his left knee while bowling. Bynum, who has participated in the sport "a couple or three times" during his rehabilitation from an identical injury to the right knee, said the new problem cropped up after he bowled Nov. 10. He also said he understands why some people believe bowling might not the appropriate thing for a person in his position to do. "I'm taking the position that that happened bowling," he said. "What happens dunking?" He also said the team has been "kind of supportive" about the situation. Collins declined comment on the matter.
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