The Utah Jazz ended a two-game skid with a 120-85 win at home over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Bojan Bogdanovic had 27 points to lead the way as six players scored in double figures for Utah, which entered the game with the fifth-ranked offense in the NBA. The Jazz improved to 9-5 with the victory.
The Sixers fell to 8-7 and have now lost five straight games. Shake Milton had a team-high 18 points. Philadelphia star center Joel Embiid missed his fifth consecutive game while he remains in the league's health and safety protocols.
Notable Player Stats
F Bojan Bogdanovic, UTAH: 27 points (9-of-12 FG)
G Jordan Clarkson, UTAH: 20 points (off bench)
C Rudy Gobert, UTAH: 15 points, 17 rebounds, 4 blocks
G Donovan Mitchell, UTAH: 13 points
G Shake Milton, PHI: 18 points
G Tyrese Maxey, PHI: 16 points
F Tobias Harris, PHI: 12 points
Jazz Take Advantage of Sixers' Lack of Rim Protection
With Embiid unavailable, the Jazz made a concerted effort to attack the rim. Utah was able to get inside seemingly at will, converting high-percentage shots at an efficient rate.
Whether it was Donovan Mitchell or Jordan Clarkson beating his defender off the dribble, or Gobert cutting to the basket, the Jazz lived inside the paint. Utah shot 25-of-45 (55.6 percent) from the field in the first half but also had 36 of their 63 points inside the paint and went 19-of-28 (67.8 percent) from inside the arc.
Gobert was a force all night and had a double-double within the early minutes of the third quarter. When he was off the floor, the Jazz didn't lose any size as he was replaced by Hassan Whiteside, who had 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.
The work Utah was doing inside helped open things up for the outside shot. After shooting 6-of-17 from beyond the arc in the first half, the Jazz went 7-of-12 from deep in the third quarter. Bogdanovic caught fire with 11 of his 27 points. Clarkson gave the Jazz a 31-point lead heading into the fourth.
Utah was able to empty its bench with over five minutes left in the game.
The Jazz had an aggressive game plan Tuesday, and it could be the team's recipe for success going forward. After finishing with the best record in the Western Conference last season, Utah has been off to a slow start this year.
If the Jazz can attack the basket the way they did against Philadelphia, it will open up more opportunities for their three-point shooters to get into a rhythm. A balanced offense could be the key to Utah returning to form.
Undersized Sixers Struggle on Both Ends
The Sixers were outmuscled by the Jazz on both offense and defense. Former All-Star center Andre Drummond was a non-factor, playing just 12 minutes as head coach Doc Rivers chose to go with a small-ball lineup.
Philadelphia struggled to get good shots while Gobert was patrolling the paint. The Utah big man had all four of his blocks in the first half alone.
Rivers' strategy to go small might have worked if his players could get going behind the arc. It didn't help matters that the three-ball wasn't falling, as the Sixers went 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) from deep in the first half.
Seth Curry in particular looked like a shell of himself, starting the game 0-of-7 from the field. He scored his first points of the game on a three with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
Tobias Harris is still getting back into form after missing six games in health and safety protocols. Besides Milton, Tyrese Maxey was the team's only other bright spot, scoring in double figures for the 11th consecutive game.
The Sixers are in a rough stretch, and until they get back to full strength, it will be hard for things to turn around in Philadelphia.
Rich Hofmann @rich_hofmann
This is the first time the Sixers got blown out since Joel Embiid left the lineup. Not totally unexpected. Problem is, they didn't close out any close games.<br><br>Remaining road trip schedule: Denver, Portland, Sacramento and Golden State. Looking like a super painful two weeks.
Philadelphia can only hope that Embiid is in All-Star form when he's ready to return to the court. Without him at his best, the team runs the risk of missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
The Jazz will face the Toronto Raptors on Thursday in the final game of a five-game homestand. The Sixers will return to action Thursday against the Denver Nuggets in the third matchup of their six-game road trip.