Joel Embiid or no Joel Embiid, the Utah Jazz weren't going to be denied

The Utah Jazz got a huge win over the Philadelphia 76ers on
Utah Jazz v Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz v Philadelphia 76ers / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz did exactly what they needed to do to keep this current streak of games going; they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 120-109 on Saturday night, knocking off the second-best team in the East. Did the Jazz beat a 76ers team who lacked their best player? Sure, but do teams constantly beat the Utah Jazz when Jordan Clarkson and Keyonte George shoot so badly that the only explanation is that they did so blindfolded?

Yes. The circumstance of a win is irrelevant, just that you win. The Jazz won on Saturday, with or without Embiid to challenge them. And that's all that matters. It didn't hurt that Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton went off. The Jazz are starting to see a twosome develop that they can truly build around because they seemingly complement one another very well.

Markkanen had a double-double of 33 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 12-19 from the floor and 5-9 from three. Sexton, likewise, had a double-double, but his involved 22 points and 10 assists, while shooting 9-14. The pairing works out well. Sexton is mostly shooting high-volume shots that have a strong chance of going in while allowing Markkanen to post up wherever he feels comfortable and helping him get the ball.

Likewise, Markkanen is pulling double teams more often, which is allowing other players, namely Sexton, to get better looks. If this keeps up, they'll likely take at least one more, if not both wins over the Milwaukee Bucks (Monday) and the Denver Nuggets (Wednesday).

These are the wins that the Jazz need, regardless of who plays for either team. Wins over these teams prove that the Jazz's slow start was just that, a slow start, and the more the team plays well, even with guys like Jordan Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker, and John Collins playing; the more likely the Jazz are to re-up on guys like Markkanen, while keeping Sexton and making a big move for someone who can help the club win now, or at the very least, soon.

These are the wins the Jazz needed in a most crucial point of the season and it's good to see that happening.

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