PHILADELPHIA -- There are two ways you can look at the 76ers.
The optimist says they did a better job this time of defending Cleveland Cavaliers guard C.J. Miles. The pessimist says the Sixers looked uninterested in what was another blowout loss.
In what has become a broken record, the Sixers faced a sizable deficit at the half. They gave up easy baskets, were outhustled, and fell, 114-85, on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Things were so bad that the home crowd began booing the Sixers (15-40) midway through the third quarter. At one point, it appeared as if the fans were switching allegiance. They rooted for Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving as he made a move to the basket.
In the end, the Sixers suffered their ninth consecutive setback and 19th in 22 games. Cleveland (21-33) extended its winning streak to five games. The Cavaliers also won the final three games of the four-game season series with the Sixers.
Cleveland center Tyler Zeller, who started in place of Anderson Varejao (sore back), finished with a season-high 18 points while making 6 of 7 foul shots. The 7-foot second-year player also had a career-high 15 rebounds in 25 minutes, 16 seconds.
Irving, the MVP of Sunday's All-Star Game, added 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Cleveland sixth man Dion Waiters and swingman Luol Deng finished with 13 apiece. Waiters left the game after hyperextending his left knee following a dunk late in the second quarter. He did not return.
Miles, however, didn't come close to duplicating the performance he had against the Sixers on Jan. 7.
Back then, the guard made 10 of 14 3-pointers to finish with 34 points. He set the Cavaliers record for made 3-pointers in a game. Miles tied the previous record in the first half with eight threes. He made his first six three-point shots.
On Tuesday night, Miles made 3 of 6 3-pointers to finish with 10 points.
Thad Young and Michael Carter-Williams paced the Sixers with 15 points apiece. Carter-Williams, however, struggled. He made just 5 of 14 shots to go with seven turnovers and just one assist.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 34 points in the second half.
Sixers reserve guard Hollis Thompson missed his third consecutive game with a sprained right ankle.
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