Ben Simmons out here carving up the Cavaliers

Ben Simmons out here carving up the Cavaliers

Butler missed 17 games with the knee injury he suffered on February 23 against the Houston Rockets. With a glut of young talent and spacious room under the salary cap, Philadelphia has been frequently mentioned as a landing spot for James.

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talk after the game on March 1, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

The 76ers stormed out to a 30-point lead in the first half and had 78 points by intermission before LeBron James heated up.

The 76ers current hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference 0.5 games ahead of the Cavs.

Final score: Philadelphia 132, Cleveland 130.

Robert Covington added 11 points and Markelle Fultz had 10 for Philadelphia. James had 44 points (17-of-29 shooting), 11 assists and 11 rebounds, bringing the Cavaliers to the brink of an epic comeback.

"I believe in the guys in our locker room", Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters when asked about his team's chances in the playoffs without Irving. He's coming to Philly next year so I'm cheering for him.

Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 25 points and DeMar DeRozan delivered 12 as the Raptors won the Atlantic Division title and claimed the Conference crown for the first time in franchise history. He shot 58 percent, including an impressive 4-8 from deep. Toronto never trailed in setting team records with 57 wins and 33 home victories.

Until the game's closing seconds. James ran around his teammate and into the paint.

More news: 14 killed as truck plows into bus carrying Canadian hockey team

Prince then set up Dewayne Dedmon for a sealing dunk. Heading into the half, the 76ers were up by 23 points. Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings with 18 points, while MarShon Brooks led Memphis with 23 points after signing a multi-year deal earlier in the day. De'Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson tallied 13 points apiece and JaKarr Sampson added 11 for Sacramento.

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris (5) shakes hands with guard Bradley Beal (3) after Morris was charged with two technical fouls and ejected. When the Cavs choked the shooters on the perimeter, they swung it back to an open Simmons, who shot it from the lane or took it to the rim for explosive finishes.

Perhaps the Cavs were worn out from rallying from 17-points down to win Thursday against Washington.

Andre Drummond (flu) is a game-time decision.

Johnathan Motley racked up a career-best 26 points along with 12 rebounds for the Mavericks. Down three, LeBron could tie the game up by making all three, but made one and missed the second. James stared down Ilyasova after the slam.

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