Utah Jazz managed to survive the late push of the Philadelphia 76ers and record their fifth win of the campaign. The final result of tonight’s clash in Salt Lake City was 106-104 for Quin Snyder’s crew.
The hosts couldn’t score for the last 1:39 after Bojan Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer, which gave his team a 5-point lead. However, the 76ers didn’t have enough composure to use that, but they too had a few missed shots, which eventually cost them the game.
The game was tight in the opening two periods, with both sides changing the lead. Philly had an 8-point advantage with 8:12 to go, when Joel Embiid made a two-pointer. That was the moment that set off the alarm among the hosts, who quickly came back and turned the result upside down. At the halftime, the scoreboard showed 58-56 for the home team.
As soon as the third quarter began, the Jazzers went on a surge, which pulled them away to a double-digit distance. A 12-3 run was crucial for making that advantage, and in its end, Utah was up 78-65.
Philadelphia tried to claw back in, cutting the distance slowly in the last period. The best they could do was to come down to two buckets with 2:17 to go, when Embiid scored a pair of free throws to make it 102-100 for Utah.
The guests were handicapped in this match, due to Ben Simmons’ injury in the first quarter. Philly’s All-Star apparently sprained his AC joint in the right shoulder, according to the club, and appeared for just 10 minutes on the floor of the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
“Defense is where we felt the pain of not having him the most,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown told the reporters.
Raul Neto replaced him, and the 27-year point guard scored 11 points, had 4 assists, and 3 steals and rebounds each. He did the best possible job from his side, but it is, in general, way below Simmons’ performances, which are always on the verge of a triple-double. Joel Embiid posted another strong double-double with 27 points and 16 boards, missing just two of his 18 free throws. Josh Richardson had 24 points, while Tobias Harris scored 16 with 7 boards.
Donovan Mitchell led the hosts. The USA national team member from the latest FIBA World Cup delivered 24 points and had 8 assists. Bojan Bogdanovic was right next to him with 20 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists, while Joe Ingles posted 16 off the bench.
“We’ve had great stretches of defense throughout the entire year,” Mitchell said. “We’ve defended really well and this was another night of it, but we’ve got to keep going.”
Rudy Gobert had a massive clash with Embiid, but the French international managed to score 14 points and to collect 16 rebounds with 3 steals. Mike Conley ended the night with 15 buckets.
Utah (5-3) is hosting the Milwaukee Bucks this Friday, and after that traveling to San Francisco to meet with the Warriors on Tuesday.
On the other side, the 76ers (5-2) have one more event on their four-game road trip. They will be facing the Denver Nuggets on Friday before going back home to play against the Hornets this Sunday.