"Every time we came close there was always some nonsense that occurred, whether it was from the players, 50-50 balls and 50-50 calls that really separated us."
Kyrie Irving, however, was the biggest difference-maker in the game.
The Cavaliers' third-year point guard made five three-pointers en route to finishing with a game-high 39 points to go with 12 assists. He scored seven of Cleveland's 11 points in the second overtime.
"He's an all-star," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Irving. "You know he's got a playground game. He can dribble through lots of people. He's just a very skilled player that also happens to be the NBA three-point champion."
Irving made a pair of foul shots to give the Cavaliers a 125-122 cushion with 21.1 seconds left in the second overtime.
Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams responded 11 seconds later by draining a three-pointer to knot the score at 125. But Irving took Carter-Williams off the dribble and gave the Cavs a 127-125 lead with 0.6 seconds left.
The 6-foot-3 guard had misfired on his game-winning attempts at the end of regulation and the first overtime.
"We were in great spots offensively, and at the end, they came for a double-team [with Spencer Hawes], and it just fell right into my hands," Irving said of his basket. "I attacked Michael-Carter Williams on the outside, and they didn't have any shot-blockers in the paint. So luckily enough, I made the shot."
The Sixers had one last opportunity to take the lead or knot the score. But Carter-Williams' inbounds pass sailed out of bounds without being touched, and the Cavs ran out the clock.
"That was supposed to be a lob to James [Anderson]," Carter-Williams said of the miscue. Cavaliers 7-foot center "Tyler Zeller is real tall. I tried to get it over his head, and I just overthrew it."
It was anyone's game before that.
The teams played through nine lead changes and 11 ties. Clutch layups by Thaddeus Young (with 5.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter) and by Turner (8.7 seconds left in overtime) forced the extra sessions.
If not for Irving, Turner would have been the star of the game. In addition to his 31 points, the 6-7 swingman finished with 10 rebounds and four turnovers. He also made 8 of 11 foul shots.
Young added 29 points in the loss. Carter-Williams finished with 21 points, 13 assists, and 7 rebounds
Dion Waiters, a South Philly native, scored 24 points on 9-for-19 shooting for the Cavaliers.
Orton sits again. Sixers reserve center Daniel Orton missed his second consecutive game Saturday, suffering what the team called "right knee soreness" after Wednesday's setback to the Washington Wizards.
Orton was informed Saturday morning that he wasn't going to play. The 6-foot-10, 266-pounder did participate in a pregame workout. He is still listed as day-to-day.