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James scores 20 and Cavaliers slip past 76ers 87-86

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    Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love (0) goes up against Philadelphia 76ers' Nerlens Noel in the first quarter.
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CLEVELAND >> LeBron James scored 20 points, Kyrie Irving added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers hung on for an 87-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

The Cavaliers earned their 16th straight home win despite being held scoreless in the final 4:04.

Trailing by a point, the 76ers called timeout with 8.5 seconds left. Nerlens Noel missed a shot in the lane and Tristan Thompson was fouled while grabbing the rebound. Cleveland called timeout to inbound the ball at midcourt. The pass was tipped away as time ran out.

Robert Covington scored 19 points to lead Philadelphia, but missed two free throws with 1:07 left that could have put the 76ers ahead.

The win moved the Cavaliers 2 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers, coming off a stretch that had them play 14 of 19 games on the road, struggled to put away the team with the third-worst record in the league.

Timofey Mozgov’s basket gave Cleveland an 87-83 lead with 4:04 remaining, but the Cavaliers didn’t score again and the 76ers cut the lead to one.

Irving missed a shot in the lane and Philadelphia called timeout to set up the last shot.

Cleveland built an 11-point lead in the second quarter and was ahead 53-45 at halftime. The 76ers tied the game early in the third before Irving and Love hit 3-pointers to give Cleveland a 62-56 lead.

James, who was 8 of 24 from the field, had 11 rebounds and six assists. Mozgov scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds while Love had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Love re-injured his back, which has bothered him all season, while leaping for a pass and walked directly to the locker room. Shumpert hurt his ankle while missing a breakaway dunk in the second quarter.

Rookie Furkan Aldemir scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds for Philadelphia while Ish Smith also scored 11 points.

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TIP INS

76ers: Noel started at power forward with Aldemir at center, a combination coach Brett Brown plans to stick with the remainder of the season. … Rookie F Jerami Grant made his fourth start of the season. Brown wanted him to test his defensive skills against James, the four-time MVP. … Rookie G JaKarr Sampson attended James’ alma mater, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High.

Cavaliers: Thompson scored on alley-oop dunks on two possessions early in the second quarter with assists from G Matthew Dellavedova. … Cleveland has tied the third-longest home winning streak in franchise history. … The Cavaliers lead the NBA with six wins of 30-plus points.

NEXT UP

76ers: Host the Lakers on Monday.

Cavaliers: Host Miami on Thursday.

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