Saturday night's game in Philadelphia was a quick turnaround for the Jazz, who traveled from Boston after their Friday night shellacking by the Celtics. Fans had to wonder if they would end up getting blasted by the defending league MVP, Joel Embiid (who scored 51 in the last Jazz/Sixers meeting).
However within an hour before tipoff, the injury report was updated and Embiid was a scratch with a swollen knee. Suddenly the Jazz had a chance - Philadelphia was coming off a blowout loss of their own to the Knicks and without their leading scorer the odds were pretty even now.
The first quarter was pretty fast, with a lot of turnovers from the Jazz keeping things closer than they should have been. 7 miscues in all. However, Lauri Markkanen led the way with 9 points and the Jazz held a 32-28 lead after one.
In the second, the Jazz cleaned up the turnovers a bit, but allowed Philadelphia to outscore them 29-26. After several ties the game ended up 58-57 at the half in favor of the Jazz.
And then in the 3rd, Lauri Markkanen came alive with 11 points, leading the way as the Jazz opened up a cushion of 8 points heading into the 4th.
And then it was flame on for Jordan Clarkson, who scored 7 points in the first 2 minutes of the 4th to put the game mostly out of reach. The Sixers didn't challenge after that, and the Jazz could breathe easy at last.
A few notes:
23 turnovers. Ouch. The Jazz really need to clean this up to be successful, games like this usually go the other way for the Jazz.
Lauri Markkanen had 33 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Jazz, with 5 for 9 from 3 point range. He looked really good tonight.
Collin Sexton had 22 points and a team-high 10 assists and was very effective in picking apart the Sixers for open dunks and layups for his teammates.
John Collins was ON tonight with 19 points on 9-10 shooting (mostly dunks) and 5 rebounds.
Jordan Clarkson had 18 points on the night, along with 5 rebounds and 6 assists and though his shooting was off (5-14 from the field), he made up for it at the line (8-9 on the night). As mentioned before, his quick scoring at the beginning of the 4th was key in the Jazz taking over the game.
The Jazz (17-20) move on to Milwaukee for Monday night's game against Giannis Antetokoumpo and the Bucks, who are visiting the Houston Rockets tonight before traveling back. Hopefully the Jazz can get another win and keep things moving forward.