The 76ers’ three game winning streak comes to an end with a loss at home to the Utah Jazz 118-96
The 76ers’ three-game winning streak unfortunately came to an end Thursday, as they fell to the Utah Jazz by a final score of 118-96.
After a hot first quarter, the Sixers flatlined and never found their stride again. For a short period of time, there was a flash of fast-paced, energetic basketball. Sadly, we should have known it wouldn’t last very long. The Sixers came out firing, scoring 32 points in the opening quarter. This surge was led by Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry, who scored 23 of the first 25 points.
Things quickly faded and they soon struggled to score throughout the remainder of the game. It stayed close until about halfway into the third quarter, then Utah ran away with the game in blowout fashion.
Philadelphia got production from their core players, but nothing surpassing the 20 point threshold. Embiid looked dominant for some stretches, especially early on, but left the game briefly to go to the locker room and didn’t look the same afterwards. He finished 19 points, shooting 8/18 from the field, and provided some incredible highlights. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly enough.
Seth Curry continued his solid play Thursday by adding in 18 points, and is quietly becoming the second option on this offense. They utilize the two-man game between him and Embiid well, and they each benefit greatly from the strengths of the other. The growth in this part of the offense is one of the few things keeping them afloat.
Tobias Harris is still in a rut. To be fair, most teams struggle around the rim against the Jazz, but he just rarely gets off good shots. Early on, he found success by being decisive and quick to his spots, but then reverted back to his usual ways.
When the offense stagnates, Harris is seeming to opt into a post-up that goes nowhere just to end up either taking a highly contested shot or a bad pass out at the end of the shot clock. Hopefully, we see him build on what we saw in the first quarter. Until then, he still remains a major frustration with this team.
Despite seeming irrelevant, the Jazz are a very good team and thrive in all the ways the Sixers struggle. They are third in the league in three point attempts per game, and move the ball extremely well. Utah out-scored Philadelphia 45-18 from the three-point line in this game. Utah also out-rebounded the Sixers by a margin of 52-34. They pair the best overall offensive rating in the league with the seventh-best defensive rating. At this point, they are a much better team than Philadelphia. That has been proven in both matchups this season.
Up Next: The 76ers will welcome Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors to the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS