The red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers would probably rather not see the league halt action for the All-Star break.
Cleveland will look for its eighth consecutive victory when it visits the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
Since falling 100-97 to the Miami Heat on Jan. 31, the Cavaliers have defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.
Donovan Mitchell led the way with a stellar 41-point performance in a 117-109 win over the Spurs on Monday.
But Mitchell was far from satisfied with the victory.
“Sometimes when you have success — and we’ve been playing well the last two-and-a-half, two weeks or whatever it is — you have lapses. Tonight was a lapse,” Mitchell said. “We played a team to their record and how they’ve been playing. That can’t happen.”
Mitchell paused and continued with the criticism after the game which sent the Spurs reeling to their 13th consecutive loss.
“For us, take this for a learning lesson,” he said. “Like, we can’t really play around and we kind of came in here just kind of expecting things to just kind of go well and they did, because we’re talented, but then at the end of the day that’s how you fall into being up four in the fourth quarter.”
Jarrett Allen added 17 points and 11 rebounds, Darius Garland chipped in 16 points and seven assists and Evan Mobley had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Veteran guard Danny Green, who was drafted by the Cavaliers in 2009, is expected to sign with the team once he clears waivers. The Houston Rockets waived Green after a trade deadline deal.
The Sixers have also been playing well and will look for their fourth straight win heading into the break.
Philadelphia had little trouble dispatching the Rockets 123-104 on Monday behind James Harden’s 28 points and 10 assists. Tyrese Maxey added 26 points, six assists and five rebounds off the bench and Joel Embiid scored 23 points.
After a bit of a scoring slump, Maxey has regained his form and was aggressive from the start on both ends.
“I’m just trying to find ways to like say be impactful or be disruptive,” Maxey said. “Getting to the ball and just stay on times when the pick and roll comes, just try to pick up the ball, make guys tired, like, exert energy and exert clock.
“So now when they get the ball, past halfcourt, they get it right past 16, 15 (seconds), now they’re getting to their offense with 13 seconds. And it’s hard to run offense with 13 seconds, you got to probably want to pass to guys who shoot. So I just try to be as rough as I can.”
Newly acquired Jalen McDaniels contributed eight points and five rebounds in his first game in front of the Sixers’ fans.
“The energy is just different. Everybody’s positive,” McDaniels said. “We’re just looking for the bigger picture, you know, playoff run, and stuff like that. Guys are really locked in so it’s like serious, but we have fun. It’s just great to be a part of it honestly.”
The Sixers signed center Dewayne Dedmon and he’s expected to be available to face the Cavaliers. The 7-footer was previously with the Miami Heat.
–Field Level Media