The Philadelphia 76ers earned a 103-94 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.
The Jazz were in the second half of a back-to-back, having suffered a 130-110 drubbing at the hands of the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Utah was also closing out its five-game road trip.
Philadelphia capitalized on the Jazz's likely travel fatigue to earn its eighth victory in nine games, though Utah had something left in reserve for the fourth quarter. The Jazz outscored the Sixers 28-18 over the final 12 minutes to turn what had been a rout into a close game.
- Tobias Harris, SF, Sixers: 26 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one steal
- Al Horford, C, Sixers: 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal
- Joel Embiid, C, Sixers: 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, one steal
- Ben Simmons, PG, Sixers: 14 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, four steals
- Rudy Gobert, C, Jazz: 27 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, three steals
- Donovan Mitchell, SG, Jazz: 18 points, two rebounds, one assist, three steals, one block
- Bojan Bogdanovic, SF, Jazz: nine points, two rebounds
Tobias Harris Staves Off Late Jazz Run
Rather than one standout performance, a collective effort from Philadelphia's best players powered the team offensively. Furkan Korkmaz was the only Sixers starter who didn't score in double figures.
When push came to shove, Tobias Harris stepped up in the fourth quarter as Philadelphia's shooting touch disappeared. It felt like every time the Jazz were beginning to build momentum, Harris was there to hit a critical jumper.
A top-heavy roster has obvious drawbacks, but it also means the Sixers are likely to have at least one guy they can count on in big moments.
Matisse Thybulle is playing his way into a bigger role in the Sixers rotation. He opened the second half in place of Korkmaz, a move that was deserved based on the rookie's performance.
Thybulle knocked down his first three attempts from the perimeter and helped the Sixers get out in transition with his effort on defense.
The 22-year-old doesn't have to take off right away and become a key figure.
Depth is the Sixers' biggest issue, as they doubled down on the core of Harris, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Should Thybulle get to the point where head coach Brett Brown can trust him to play meaningful minutes in the playoffs, he will have given the team exactly what it needs.
Donovan Mitchell Has Night to Forget
As Donovan Mitchell goes, so goes the Jazz offense. According to Basketball Reference, Mitchell shot 45.7 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from beyond the arc in Utah's 12 wins entering Monday. He shot 41.3 and 31.9 percent, respectively, in the team's eight defeats.
The trend continued, as the Jazz star went 6-of-19 from the field and missed five of his six three-point attempts.
Mitchell's shot selection was less-than-ideal, which was partially down to the dogged defense of Simmons and Thybulle.
The Jazz mounted a late comeback in the second half as Embiid battled foul trouble. That made life a lot easier for Rudy Gobert and cleared a path for Utah's wings to attack the basket. But the Jazz had dug themselves into a big hole by that point.
Mike Conley was limited to 23 minutes before left hamstring tightness forced him to exit, which made the comeback even more difficult.
Defense has been the Jazz's calling card under head coach Quin Snyder, but they had a respectable 110.3 offensive rating in 2018-19, 14th in the league, per NBA.com. Utah has fallen to 21st in offensive rating (106.0), and that ranking might fall slightly after Monday's loss.
Some adjustment was to be expected after the team added Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic in the offseason, so it's too early to hit the panic button.
But the Jazz aren't where many expected them to be, and their offense is the biggest culprit.
The Sixers head to the nation's capital Thursday to play the Washington Wizards. The Jazz begin a three-game homestand Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.