August 30, 2014

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Picking up the slack … and then some: Jeremy Pargo scores 28 in place of injured Kyrie Irving as Cavs down 76ers, snap skid

CLEVELAND — Jeremy Pargo, filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving, scored a career-high 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers broke a six-game losing streak with a 92-83 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers came into the game with a 2-8 record, but stopped the Sixers’ three-game winning streak despite not having Irving. The NBA’s reigning rookie of the year is expected to miss a month with a broken left index finger. He was injured Saturday against Dallas and played the next night in Philadelphia before an MRI revealed a crack in the bone.

Dion Waiters scored 16 points while Alonzo Gee added 14 for Cleveland. Anderson Varejao scored 10 points and had 19 rebounds.

Philadelphia had five players score in double figures, but a fourth-quarter rally fell short. Jason Richardson and Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 16 points.

Pargo’s previous career high came last season against Oklahoma City when he scored 15 points. He made five starts as a rookie with Memphis in 2011-2012, but had only played in three of the Cavaliers’ first 10 games — totaling 23 minutes. Cleveland acquired him in an offseason trade.

Cleveland led 65-50 midway through the third quarter, but the 76ers chipped away at the margin. Nick Young’s basket with 3:31 to play cut the lead to 79-77, but Cleveland put the game away with a 13-0 run. A basket and a 3-pointer by Pargo, two free throws from Varejao and 3-pointers by C.J. Miles and Waiters rebuilt the lead.

The Cavaliers took a 38-19 lead midway through the second quarter. The 76ers cut the lead to six late in the period, but Cleveland was ahead 47-35 at halftime. Philadelphia was 12-of-45 from the field in the first half.

Philadelphia cut the lead to 52-50 early in the third quarter before the Cavaliers scored 13 straight points. Gee and Waiters scored five points apiece in the run.

Varejao was hit with a technical foul in the fourth quarter. Varejao thought he was fouled going to the basket, but a jump ball was called and he protested to the officials.

The Cavaliers had lost six straight to the 76ers.

Irving has had several injury setbacks. He has missed time with a foot injury, sprained shoulder, concussion and broken hand in the past two years. The Cavaliers went 4-11 without Irving in 2011-12. Irving, looking sharp in a suit and tie, was seated at the end of the bench.

Daniel Gibson, Cleveland’s backup shooting guard, missed his second straight game with a sore right elbow.

Notable

Philadelphia was 4-of-26 from the field midway through the second quarter.

• The 76ers host Oklahoma City on Saturday, the first of three straight games at home.

• Cleveland begins a three-game road trip Friday in Orlando. The Cavaliers also play in Miami and Memphis.

• The Cavaliers’ last victory in the series was a 101-93 win in Cleveland on Nov. 16, 2010. Former Cavaliers F Larry Nance, the NBA’s first slam dunk champion, attended the game.