The Cleveland Cavaliers have been the best team in the NBA during the 2024 calendar year. Coming into Monday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, they had won 9 straight, a winning streak that was preceded by one in which they won 8 in a row. They looked primed to pick up another home victory against a wildly shorthanded Philly team, closing as 11.5-point favorites.
76ers’ newcomer Buddy Hield had other ideas.
Short-Handed 76ers End Longest Winning Streak In The NBA
The Sixers with a big road win against the Cavaliers who had won 17 of 18.
Buddy Hield, Kelly Oubre, Tyrese Maxey combined for 70 points. Sixers have won 2 straight games. https://t.co/J4yJcn146t
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) February 13, 2024
In his 4th game in a Philadelphia uniform, Hield scored 24 points on 5 of 8 shooting from beyond the arc, which was matched by Kyle Kuzma’s 24 to lead all 76ers’ scorers. Hield scored 9 straight at one point in the 4th quarter, which included back-to-back three pointers.
The Cavaliers nearly closed a 10-point deficit in the final 1:25 of the game, but came up short on the final shot at the buzzer sounded. The final score was 123-121. Donovan Mitchell led the team in scoring by dropping 36 points.
It is a tough home loss for Cleveland, especially given that they could have extended their winning streak to double digits and were listed as heavy favorites. It is just their second loss since January 1st, a time frame in which they’ve risen from 7th place in the Eastern Conference all the way into 2nd, and they have a winnable game against the Chicago Bulls before heading into the All-Star break.
Cavs Still In Excellent Position For Playoff Push
THE SIXERS GET THE FINAL STOP TO TAKE DOWN THE CAVS 🔒
Cleveland’s 9-game winning streak is SNAPPED ✂️pic.twitter.com/htnDRuZ7U5
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) February 13, 2024
The Cavaliers are in prime position to finish as one of the top-4 teams in the East at the end of the regular season. They’re 5.5 games behind the Celtics who they’ll have a hard time catching, but are still a game up on the Bucks in third place, and a full three games better than the fourth placed Knicks.
8 of Cleveland’s first 9 games coming out of the break will be against Eastern Conference foes, including contests against the 76ers, Knicks, and Celtics.
The longest active winning streak in the NBA is now 5, held by both the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors.