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Irving, James power Cavs to 11th straight win


CLEVELAND, February 3 – Kyrie Irving scored 24 points while LeBron James contributed 18 points and 11 assists in sparking the Cleveland Cavaliers to their 11th NBA victory in a row, beating Philadelphia 97-84 Monday.

The Cavaliers captured their seventh home triumph in the win streak and avenged a 95-92 loss at Philadelphia last month which came when James was sidelined to rest a sore back and aching knees.

Kevin Love grabbed 15 rebounds for Cleveland while Aussie guard Irving matched a game high with five assists and pulled down five rebounds.

Aussie reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith each added 12 points for the Cavaliers, who improved to 30-20, hot on the heels of Central division leader Chicago (30-19).

The Cavaliers are only two wins shy of matching the longest win streak in franchise history, set during the 2009-2010 season before James departed Cleveland to spent four seasons in Miami until his return last July.

Cleveland can match a club-best 13-game win streak by beating the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday and winning Friday at Indiana. A potential 14th win in a row could come Sunday when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Cavaliers.

The 76ers, averaging an NBA low 89.6 points a game coming into the contest, suffered their seventh consecutive road defeat and fell to 10-39, the worst record in the Eastern Conference and second-worst in the NBA.

Robert Covington and reserve Jerami Grant each scored 18 points to lead Philadelphia.

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