Jazz 97, 76ers 76
The Utah Jazz made the most of a brief stop at home.
The Jazz traded scoring runs with Philadelphia for three
quarters, then shut down the 76ers in the fourth period Saturday
night for a 97-76 victory.
Utah held Philadelphia scoreless for nearly nine minutes to pull
away to a blowout in the Jazz’s first home game in almost two
“We got off to a terrible start. The way we played it was a
good thing we had a chance to make amends a little bit,” Utah
coach Jerry Sloan said. “We have to learn how to cut the turnovers
down because those things have been killing us.”
The Jazz ended a two-game losing streak, which appeared in
jeopardy of becoming three in a row with 12 turnovers in the first
half. Utah cut the giveaways to eight in the second half and beat
Philadelphia for the sixth straight time.
Deron Williams had 27 points and eight assists to lead the Jazz
and Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Mehmet Okur and
Wesley Matthews scored 16 apiece for Utah, which held Philadelphia
to just three field goals in the fourth quarter.
“We were more aggressive defensively,” said Williams, who made
10 of 14 shots and all four of his 3-point attempts. “We had a lot
more energy. We still had some turnovers, but we did a better job
of protecting the ball.”
The Jazz hadn’t played at home since Dec. 14 and play their next
two on the road, starting Wednesday in Minnesota.
Thaddeus Young scored 20 for the Sixers, who played much of the
game without starting center Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert had three
fouls midway through the first quarter and played just 16:24, but
still managed to pull down nine rebounds.
Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday added 10 points apiece for
Philadelphia, which was outrebounded 49-39 and had just 11 assists
to Utah’s 24.
“We need to take a page from their book – share the ball and
play some team defense and we’ll be fine,” Brand said.
The Sixers, who lost their third straight and were without Allen
Iverson for the fourth consecutive game, hung with Utah through the
first three quarters, then fell apart in the fourth.
“In the fourth quarter we didn’t put any sort of rhythm or flow
together,” Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. “Their defense was
good. We missed some open shots and we didn’t execute as well as we
The Sixers are 0-2 on a six-game road trip that continues Monday
in Portland, where they hope Iverson will be able to play again
after missing four straight with knee and shoulder problems.
Philadelphia went scoreless from Royal Ivey’s 3-pointer with 50
seconds left in the third until Young made a layup with 4:05
remaining in the game.
Ivey had pulled the Sixers within 72-64 entering the fourth, but
the Jazz were able to slowly build up the lead as Philadelphia
missed shot after shot. The Sixers were just 3 for 23 in the period
and were outscored 25-12.
“We had been playing great defense throughout the whole game,”
Boozer said. “In that fourth quarter, something’s got to give and
it gave our way.”
Philadelphia had another drought in the first half as the Jazz
rallied from a brief deficit.
Young hit a 3-pointer to put Philadelphia up 19-15, then the
Jazz scored the last 10 points of the first quarter and the first
seven of the second period. Williams started the 17-0 run with a
3-pointer, followed by a no-look pass from Andrei Kirilenko to
Boozer for a three-point play.
Williams also hooked up in the first half on a long-distance
alley-oop to Ronnie Brewer, who finished it off with a reverse
NOTES: Utah beat Philadelphia for the sixth straight time. …
Brand went tumbling over the scorers’ table late in the third
quarter but was OK. … Dalembert had three fouls within the first
6:41 of the first quarter, picked up another in the second and had
five within the first minute of the third quarter.