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‘Aggressive’ Rodney Hood creates his own opportunities on offense in Cleveland Cavaliers win against Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Cleveland Cavaliers guard Rodney Hood spent most of Friday’s 121-112 win against the Philadelphia 76ers creating his own opportunities on offense, but it was an open look midway through the fourth quarter that was set to haunt him down the stretch.

With just under six minutes to play, Hood missed a jump shot, but found himself wide open for a 3-pointer after Tristan Thompson tipped the rebound back out to him at the top of the arc. His second attempt, this time from 3-point range, clanked off the rim.

“I was a little mad at myself,” Hood said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to get another chance.’”

That chance came three minutes later, with the Cavs up 12 and looking to ice the game. Hood got Sixers center Joel Embiid to switch out defensively against him in front of the Philly bench. He took a hard dribble to his right and drained a fadeaway 3-pointer that gave Cleveland a 15-point advantage and forced Sixers coach Brett Brown to call a timeout.

“That was the one,” Hood said afterward. “It felt great to go in. They switched it. Embiid, he’s a great shot blocker, so I just wanted to get some space and rise up.”

Hood finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the floor, 5-for-7 from 3-point range. In the last three games Hood is shooting 18-for-41 (44 percent) and has looked to get his offense started early by attacking the basket.

Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said he thought Hood did a nice job early on Friday of being aggressive.

“Rodney can go get it with the best of them,” Drew said. “He’s one of those guys that can elevate over you and shoot it. He can make the three. He can go off the dribble. I like when he’s in that aggressive mode and when he’s attacking the basket.”

Hood said that aggressive nature carried over to his teammates in Friday’s win.

“We were north-and-south today getting to the rim, taking our shots with confidence,” he said. “We were sure of ourselves. We got into some different sets with movement. When you’re stagnant, they’re really good defensively. But when you move them around, you get opportunities to get to the basket.”

Hood said he absolutely made a conscious effort to be more aggressive against the Sixers than he had been on offense in Cleveland’s previous few games.

“I felt that I wasn’t involved enough,” Hood said. “This game, I wanted to come out guns blazing. Obviously come in with a defensive mindset, but when I caught the ball just be aggressive. I think we’re a better team when I do that. Because I can also make plays when I’ve got it going.”

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