PHILADELPHIA: Andrew Bynum’s reception was expected. The way the Cavaliers were treated was not.
After a poor performance and post-game lashing from their head coach in Milwaukee, the performance wasn’t much better in a 94-79 loss at the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. The Cavs have now played three road games against beatable opponents and lost them all.
Tristan Thompson had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Dion Waiters had 18 points and Kyrie Irving had 10 points and nine assists, but the Cavs shot just 33 percent to tumble to 2-4.
The Sixers shot 59 percent over the second and third quarters to turn a 14-point Cavs lead into a 77-61 Sixers lead entering the fourth quarter. The lead swelled to 19 and the Cavs never really threatened in the fourth.
The Sixers played well defensively, but the Cavs were outhustled and outplayed by another inferior opponent.
Top overall pick Anthony Bennett injured his shoulder early in the second quarter and did not return. He was diagnosed with a sprained shoulder after x-rays were negative.
Mike Brown shuffled his lineups more than any other game. Following Bennett’s injury, he played Bynum and Tyler Zeller together. He started the fourth quarter with shooting guard Sergey Karasev at shooting guard and he tried the three-guard lineup of Irving, Waiters and Jarrett Jack together for the fourth quarter.
None of it really provided a spark.
Bynum had four points and five rebounds in 18 minutes in his first game at Wells Fargo Center since the 76ers acquired him in a trade 18 months ago. Knee problems prevented him from ever appearing in a game for the Sixers, then he signed as a free agent over the summer with the Cavaliers.
Sixers fans remain bitter over Bynum, however. He was introduced following the trade to a crowd of 1,500 and hailed as the next great big man in the team’s illustrious history. None of that transpired, and Friday marked their first chance to tell him about it.
The boos started the moment Bynum walked onto the floor during pregame. As he went through the layup lines, the sparse arena crowd hammered him with boos and Bynum couldn’t contain his smile. The rest of his teammates smiled, too.
He was peppered with chants of “Bynum sucks!” and “Let’s go bowling!” referring to the injury he sustained to his knee while bowling when he was a member of the Sixers.
He entered the game in the second quarter to more boos, then was double-teamed by the Sixers nearly every time he touched the ball. The Cavs couldn’t take advantage of the open shooter, however.