PHILADELPHIA — Center/forward Tyler Zeller recorded a season-high 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds Tuesday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-85 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Cavaliers, who earned their fifth consecutive victory, received a 14-point contribution from guard Kyrie Irving, the MVP of Sunday’s All-Star Game. Forward Luol Deng and guard Dion Waiters had 13 points each for Cleveland (21-33), while forward Tristan Thompson chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Forward Anthony Bennett and guard C.J. Miles had 10 points apiece for the Cavs. Bennett also grabbed 11 rebounds, as Cleveland enjoyed a 61-44 advantage on the glass.
Guard Michael Carter-Williams and forward Thaddeus Young scored 15 points each to front Philadelphia, which lost its ninth straight. The Sixers (15-40) fell for the 19th time in 22 games.
The Cavaliers, who repeatedly attacked the basket to good effect, blew the game open by outscoring the Sixers 33-18 in the second quarter, giving them a 64-43 halftime lead.
They stretched the advantage to as many as 34 points in the second half.
Zeller, who began the night averaging 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds, had not cracked double figures in either category since a 13-point, 10-rebound performance against the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 28. In eight games, since he totaled 35 points and 26 boards.
He notched 10 points in the first 4:11 Tuesday, and Cleveland opened an 18-8 lead one minute later. The Cavaliers extended the edge to 31-19 late in the period, as Deng and Waiters hit 3-pointers and Irving converted a three-point play.
In all, the Cavs shot 61.9 percent in the first quarter, in building a 31-25 lead.
The Sixers crept within six early in the second period as reserve guard Elliot Williams and Turner banged in 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. However, Cleveland outscored Philadelphia 28-11 the rest of the quarter — a stretch highlighted by six points from Thompson — to claim a 21-point halftime advantage.
NOTES: Kevin Grow, a senior from Bensalem High School in suburban Philadelphia who was signed by the Sixers to a ceremonial two-day contract Monday, was given his own locker and jersey — No. 33 — before the game. Grow, who has Down syndrome, served as a manager for his high school team for four years before suiting up and scoring 14 points, including four 3-pointers, in a recent game. As Grow approached his locker, G/F Evan Turner took one look at the jersey hanging there and said, “We had a guy last year who was 33 (Andrew Bynum). He never wore it.” Grow also attended practice Monday, where he beat Turner, his favorite player, in one-on-one, and on Tuesday he shot around with the team and was introduced with the Sixers’ starters. … Sixers G/F Hollis Thompson (sprained right ankle) missed his third consecutive game. … Cleveland F Anderson Varejao (back) also missed his third game in a row. … Cavs G Dion Waiters hyperextended his left knee while dunking over Sixers C Spencer Hawes late in the first half. He did not return.
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