The result of the 76ers' game tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers was a 101-93 loss.

But like cleaning out the attic and finding that long-lost photo album, the Sixers might have discovered something in the process: that Andre Iguodala should play small forward.

It could be the only good thing coming from the loss, the Sixers' 13th in 22 games this season.

"Could have something to do with it," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks conceded in reference to Iguodala's strong play after returning to his natural position. "His play has been steadily rising lately, but where his success came from last year was at that small-forward spot, no question."

Added Cheeks: "Certainly we'll look at the tape and see if that's the case."

The game ended as it appeared it might, with the 19-3 Cavaliers, winners of 10 straight, stretching a two-point halftime lead into double digits.

The lead was 20 points by the last minute of the third quarter. The Sixers cut it to six with two minutes left. However, the game never felt in doubt, nor did Cleveland play as if it might be.

Iguodala's first-half performance was nearly lost amid the desperate vibe of the last 24 minutes of the game, when the Sixers were outplayed by LeBron James and his Cavaliers. James finished with 29 points.

But for the first 24 minutes, Iguodala dunked, dished and drove his team to within 48-46 at the break. He finished with 27 points.

"It's the same thing," Iguodala, stonefaced, said of the difference between shooting guard and small forward. "Nothing has changed. It's the same thing."

In the first half, Iguodala scored 21 points on 10-for-12 shooting. In one half, Iguodala scored almost seven points more than his average, 14.2. In the first 21 games of the season, though, he started at shooting guard.

Cheeks started Willie Green at shooting guard tonight in place of small forward Thaddeus Young.

Guard Andre Miller continued his steady point production with 22 points, and Lou Williams finished with 22 off the bench. Miller, Williams, and Iguodala shouldered the offensive load, especially considering that the team's leading scorer, Elton Brand, scored six points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Brand, who missed the previous two games with a strained hamstring, was scoreless in the pivotal third quarter. After the game, Brand said he was not 100 percent healthy.

"It's been disappointing," Brand said, not of his injury, but of the Sixers' surprisingly bad start.

Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas (nine points, six rebounds) left the game with 9 minutes, 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter after spraining his left ankle.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.