The absences of Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle, and Danny Green were as noticeable as ever in the Sixers’ 120-85 defeat in Utah. The loss brings the stumbling Sixers’ record to a less-than-stellar 8-7. They have shot less than 45% from the field in five straight games, losing all five.
In the first quarter, Utah was led offensively by Bojan Bogdanovic, who scored 7 points (2-3 FG, 1-2 3P, 2-2 FT). The Jazz took command early, behind a 9-0 scoring run. Utah’s defense, as expected, appeared far more formidable early, with five blocks in the quarter, three from reigning DPOY, Rudy Gobert.
Former Jazz, Georges Niang, in his return to Utah, hit a crucial three at the end of the quarter, and Isaiah Joe, who returned to the rotation, sank a three and converted a fastbreak layup upon entering the game. This sequence narrowed Utah’s lead to 30-28 at the conclusion of the frame. Shake Milton led the Sixers in scoring with 7 points (3-8 FG, 0-2 3P) in the quarter, but Tobias Harris was the most active all-around contributor, accumulating 4 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and one block.
Utah responded strongly to the Sixers’ end-of-quarter spurt, with a 14-0 run to start the second quarter. The Sixers were unable to stop the bleeding, as the Jazz run ballooned to 27-6. Ultimately, Utah outscored Doc Rivers‘ squad 33-19 in the second quarter to take a 63-47 lead into halftime. Tobias Harris was held scoreless in the quarter, while the Sixers shot 38% from the field as a team, including 4/17 from three.
Meanwhile, Utah shot 6/17 from deep and 56% overall. The Jazz also held the first-half advantage at the line, converting on seven of thirteen attempts, compared to the Sixers’ making three-of-four foul shots. Andre Drummond was purely out-classed as the Sixers starting center, and the team was out-rebounded 34-19 in the first half.
At the half, Utah’s major contributing factors included Bogdanovic with 12 points (4/6 FG, 2-3 3P, 2/2 FT), Rudy Gobert with 8 points (3-4 FG, 2-6 FT), 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks, Donovan Mitchell with 11 points (4-10 FG, 1-3 3P, 2-3 FT), and Jordan Clarkson with 11 points (5/10 FG, 1-4 3P). In the first half, The Sixers were captained by Tyrese Maxey with 12 points (5/10 FG, 2/4 3P) and Shake Milton with 11 points (5/10 FG, 0/2 3P, 1/1 FT). Seth Curry experienced a cold stretch as he shot 0/2 from three and 0/7 from the field.
To start the second half, the Jazz expanded their 16-point halftime lead behind a quick 15-4 run. The Sixers did not show much of a fight following that run, as the Jazz outscored Philly 34-19 in the quarter to take a commanding 97-66 advantage into the final frame. The Jazz outscored the Sixers in the fourth quarter, 23-19, to secure the 120-85 win.
Bojan Bogdanovic was the game’s leading scorer for Utah with 27 points (9/12 FG, 5/7 3P, 4/4 FT). In 21 minutes off the bench, Jordan Clarkson added 20 points (8/20 FG, 4/12 3P). Rudy Gobert played the most minutes on the team with 28 minutes, compiling 15 points (6/10 FG, 3/7 FT), 17 rebounds, and 4 blocks. The Jazz shot 52% from the field, including 16/38 from three.
In contrast, the Sixers shot 37% from the field and 6/29 from long range. Despite the poor shooting performance, Doc Rivers was shown encouraging signs by Shake Milton, who led the team with 18 points (7/19 FG, 4-5 FT, 0/3 3P), and Tyrese Maxey, who tallied 16 points (7/14 FG, 2/4 3P). Tobias Harris was underwhelming but produced decently with 12 points (4/9 FG, 3/3 FT, 1-3 3P), 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks.