Gordon Hayward scores 24, Jazz beats 76ers 95-91
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Gordon Hayward was shocked he was so open when he pulled up for a jumper with time running out on the clock. The result, however, was no surprise.
Hayward scored 24 points, including a 3-pointer that put the Utah Jazz ahead for good in a 95-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
''It's just a play that we've run at practice countless times,'' Hayward said. ''Several options that I have and they went under the screen and (I) knocked down the shot.
''Kind of surprised, honestly,'' he added. ''Most of the game they'd been physical and going over everything, not giving us too much breathing room.''
The Jazz (13-16) ended a two-game skid despite missing Derrick Favors and high-scoring reserve Alec Burks.
The 76ers (2-31) failed to win consecutive games for the first time this season after winning its second game on Saturday.
The Jazz led by 19 midway through the third quarter, but the 76ers went on a 29-10 run to close the quarter. Nerlens Noel's dunk off a slick pass from Ish Smith gave Philadelphia its first lead of the night at 78-76.
The two teams were tied when Noel caught an alley-oop from Smith to put the 76ers up 91-89 with 38.3 seconds remaining.
Hayward answered with a 3-pointer with 33.5 seconds left to give the Jazz a 92-91 lead.
''As a group, we had tremendous energy,'' 76ers coach Brett Brown said. ''That third period on both sides of the ball is as good of a period as we have played.''
Smith scored a season-high 22 points in his second game with the 76ers after being acquired from the Pelicans. Noel scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked five shots.
Trey Burke scored 14 for the Jazz.
Utah jumped out to a 37-23 lead in the first quarter with 57.1 percent shooting from the floor. The 37 points were its season high for any quarter this season.
''Sometimes part of the process is learning how to win,'' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ''There's plenty to be disappointed about. … What did happen tonight was Gordon made a terrific shot at a point where we could have easily lost the game. A 20-point lead in the NBA is nothing, especially in the first half.''
76ers: Rookie center Jahlil Okafor missed his second consecutive game with knee soreness. … Philadelphia shot 5 for 21 from 3-point range. … Richaun Holmes added 18 points and three blocks off the bench. … The Sixers were outrebounded 53-37.
Jazz: Derrick Favors missed his second consecutive game with back spasms. He's averaging a career-high 16.8 points. … Rookies Raul Neto and Trey Lyles and Jeff Withey all started together for just the second time this season. … Point guards Burke and Neto played on the floor at the same time for the first time this season. … Withey had a season-high 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Burks has chosen to have surgery on his broken left leg to help accelerate the healing process, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the decision. The surgery should allow Burks to place weight on the bone after two weeks instead of four and begin rehab sooner. The team originally said he would not have surgery.
The Jazz are down their third-leading scorer (Burks), their defensive centerpiece (Rudy Gobert) and starting point guard (Dante Exum). With Favors dealing with back issues, Snyder is concerned with the defense. ''If this was college, you have a week to prepare and maybe run a zone or do something like that,'' Snyder said. ''There are things you can do, but if you don't have time, it is tough to put in.
''As far as deviating from a basic system, I don't think it makes a ton of sense. … You can adjust, but you got to maintain your core.''
Brown said he wanted better pace and defense during this second third of the season. ''I want to play with pace,'' Brown said. ''It's how I see the game. I know you have to coach to what your talent says you have. And Jahlil deserves and needs the ball. And so, how do I combine pace with post? We've said that's a challenge.
''At the end of the day we can't do anything if we don't admit that our program is built through defense,'' he said. ''In the city of Philadelphia, that is a blue-collar city. They demand a toughness. It's just how I see the growth of the program. … Pace and we have to be very, very defensive-minded first.''
''We just kept gutting it out,'' Smith said. ''Kept grinding, kept grinding and kept pushing. That is a positive for our team. We keep pushing and pressing. We can't spot teams 20-point leads obviously, but you can't say enough about how we played.''
Sixers: travel to face the Kings on Wednesday.
Jazz: face the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Wednesday.