76ers Top Jazz in Overtime Thriller
What a way to end the first half of the season.
The best in the East, the 76ers (24-12), topped the best in the entire league, the Jazz (27-9), in a come-from-behind overtime thriller, 131-123.
In a game that featured nine lead changes and seven ties, the Sixers trailed by as many as 13, before a strong second-half performance from the bench brought the Sixers back.
The Sixers outscored the Jazz 34-29 in the fourth quarter, which was capped by Joel Embiid’s game-tying, overtime-forcing 3-pointer that tied the game at 118 in the final seconds.
The Sixers’ 13-5 advantage in overtime - including 11 points from Tobias Harris - sealed the deal.
Doc Rivers credited the entire team’s performance in the win.
“I thought the bench turned the game around in the third quarter… and then we brought our starters in to close it out.”
Donovan Mitchell led the way for Utah, with 33 points, eight rebounds, and six assists - but was ultimately ejected with a pair of technical fouls in overtime.
Embiid joins Ben Simmons as the pair of Sixers to score 40-plus against the Jazz this season, as Embiid finished with 40 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and two blocks.
After the big win, Embiid reflected on the Sixers’ current status:
Simmons totalled 17 points, four rebounds, six assists, and a steal, plus impressive defense on the Jazz’ stars.
Rivers on Simmons’ defense:
“He guards the best every night... He’s been amazing. He needs more credit.”
After missing the team’s last two games (knee contusion), Harris came up huge for the Sixers down the stretch. He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block.
Eleven of his points and three of his rebounds came in overtime.
Howard scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds in the victory, plus two assists, a steal, and a block.
Howard scored six of his 12 points in the fourth period.
Quote to Note:
Doc Rivers on the team’s potential:
“We’re playing good basketball. But there’s a great team in us.”
As the All-Star break begins, Ben SImmons, Joel Embiid, and Doc Rivers & co. will head to Atlanta for Sunday’s All-Star Game.
The All-Star draft is Thursday, March 4, as LeBron James and Kevin Durant will choose their teams, although Durant won’t appear in the All-Star Game (hamstring).
Following the break, the Sixers’ first matchup in the latter portion of the 2020-21 season comes Thursday, March 11, as the team visits the Chicago Bulls.