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The Roundup—Jazz start strong, struggle late in loss to Sixers
A strong first quarter gave way to missed shot after missed shot for the Utah Jazz, who fell 114-97 to the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
Utah (17-19) shot only 38.4 percent from the field while allowing the Sixers to shoot 50.0 percent.
"We didn't defend at the level we need to," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after the game. "You can look at a lot of things offensively—we had looks and didn't make them, those things happen. We just didn't executve defensively with the same amount of focus and urgency that we've been playing with."
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting despite sitting for much of the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul. Danté Exum added 20 points, and Rudy Gobert finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two steals for his 30th double-double of the season.
Kyle Korver scored 10 of his 11 points in the first quarter for the Jazz.
Utah led by seven points after one quarter, but the Sixers chipped away at that margin and eventually went on an 18-5 run between the second and third quarters to take control of the game. Philadelphia led by as many as 23 before closing out the road victory.
Joel Embiid stuffed the stat sheet for the Sixers (23-13) with 23 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and five blocks before he fouled out with just over four minutes left in the game. Ben Simmons triple-doubled with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists (and three steals), and JJ Redick scored a team-high 24 points in the win.
Exum, who scored a season-high 20 points in 21 minutes off the bench, was a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy night for the Jazz. The 23-year-old guard got to the hoop at will, converting a three-point play and throwing home a driving dunk, and he also pulled up a canned a three off the dribble right over Embiid. In all, Exum shot 6-for-14 from the field and 5-for-5 from the line, and he added four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
"A few weeks ago, Danté was at a point where he really just needed to continue to invest and continue to work, and that's what he's done," Snyder said. "You can see that he's playing with more poise and more confidence, and I think that's reflective of the effort he's put in and the focus he's had."
exxxxZZoooompic.twitter.com/CZvPTTTURO— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 28, 2018
real shooters knowpic.twitter.com/2wEoLWk0pb— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 28, 2018
Danté with a season-high 20 pointspic.twitter.com/V4MIrItMDn— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 28, 2018
As is often the case, turnovers were key in tonight's loss. Utah scored only seven points off of Philadelphia's 13 turnovers, while the Sixers turned Utah's 16 turnovers into 26 points.
The Jazz scored zero fast-break points despite 11 steals. The Sixers scored 11 points in transition.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"We put a lot of pressure on our offense when we're giving up 35- and 38-point quarters. That's going to have you taking the ball out of the net and inbounding it, and that's not the best way to start a possession."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
Jae Crowder suffered a sprained thumb in the third quarter and did not return to the game. ... Philadelphia outscored Utah 48-38 in the paint. ... The Jazz are now 7-8 at home this season. ... Jimmy Butler finished with 19 points and three steals for the Sixers. ... Philadelphia's TJ McConnell picked up a technical foul late in the first quarter. ... Derrick Favors blocked Utah's only shot of the game. ... Ricky Rubio scored five points on 1-for-10 shooting.
The Jazz will remain home to host the New York Knicks on Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 6:00pm MT.