Fri. Dec 6th, 2019

Philly’s Top Five

What Makes Philly, "Philly"

Sixers build big lead, hold on for 103-94 win over Jazz

3 min read

After looking like they would run away with Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz, the Philadelphia 76ers found themselves holding on down the stretch at Wells Fargo Center before escaping with a 103-94 win.

Things started off well for the home team, as the Sixers built an eight-point lead after the first quarter. They kept their foot on the gas in the second, extending the margin to 18 at halftime. Everything remained on track in the third quarter, and although that frame was closer than the previous two, the Sixers still added another point to their advantage.

Then the fourth quarter happened. Things were innocent enough through the early part of the quarter, with the Sixers maintaining a margin between 14 and 19 points. But then the offense went cold, as the Sixers scored only four points over a four-and-a-half-minute stretch, allowing the Jazz to climb to within ten points. A Tobias Harris jumper with 2:32 remaining provided a bit of relief for the Sixers, but a quick 5-0 spurt from Utah brought the lead back down to seven. Fortunately, the Sixers were able to make some free throws down the stretch and ultimately time ran out on Utah’s comeback bid.

On the surface, the way the game out was only mildly frustrating. But when you consider the fact that Utah was on the second night of a back-to-back, playing its third game in four nights, and on the final game of a five-game trip that took them to Milwaukee, Indiana, Memphis, and Toronto before wrapping up in Philadelphia, the inability to maintain dominance through the fourth quarter is a bit more disappointing.

Still, the Sixers made enough plays and got the win, avenging an early-season loss in Utah.

Tobias Harris led the way with 26 points and nine rebounds. Joel Embiid secured another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, adding four assists. Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double, contributing 14 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds. He also continued making a defensive impact, swiping four steals. Al Horford added 17 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Matisse Thybulle chipped in nine points (3-of-3 from deep) and three steals off the bench, while James Ennis III had eight points and five rebounds.

Defense and 3-point shooting played a huge role in the win. The Sixers had a total of 12 steals and forced 19 Jazz turnovers. They held Utah to 22.7% from beyond the arc while connecting on 50% of their own attempts from deep, earning a 24-point advantage from beyond the arc.

It would have been nice to see the Sixers carry their early dominance through the fourth quarter, especially considering the position the Jazz were in regarding their schedule, but there was still a lot to like about the performance. The Sixers have now won four in a row and improved to 10-0 at home. They’ll be back in action Thursday against the Wizards in Washington.

 

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