Jazz beat 76ers 99-71 for 1st victory of season
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Utah walked off the court a winner to the official sound of another lousy season of 76ers basketball.
Derrick Favors had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Rodney Hood scored 17 points to lead the Jazz to a 99-71 victory over Philadelphia on Friday night
With Alec Burks adding 15 points off the bench, the Jazz used 13-0 runs in each of the first three quarters to build a 32-point lead and put away the hapless Sixers.
Utah scored 13 straight points to open the second half and held Philadelphia without a basket in the third quarter for nearly 7 minutes to rebound from an opening-night loss.
”I know a lot of people were expecting more out of me in the preseason,” Favors said. ”But I used preseason to get myself in shape and work on things I worked on during the summer. When the season rolled around, I got focused.”
Jerami Grant and Nik Stauskas had 12 points for the Sixers.
The Jazz beat the Sixers for the sixth straight time, but it doesn’t take much for any team to beat Philadelphia these days. One of the worst teams in the league the last two seasons, the rebuilding Sixers may have their worst roster yet in coach Brett Brown’s three seasons.
”Hopefully we get healthy and moving forward,” Brown said. ”That’s what we did last year and, to a point, the first year.”
Nerlens Noel, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 draft, missed his first six shots and had eight points. Jahlil Okafor, the No. 3 pick this year out of Duke, followed his 26-point debut against Boston with 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Even on opening night, fans weary of even more bad hoops booed the Sixers off the court following one more miserable defeat.
”Maybe it’s going to take a little bit of time,” Stauskas said. ”Maybe we need to work on a few more things. But we’re relatively young and inexperienced at this point.”
Utah did enough to top the Sixers but needs more production than it got Friday to win more games in the Western Conference. Favors and Hood combined to make 10 of 27 shots through three quarters. The Jazz only shot 39 percent through three quarters. Their penalty for poor shooting? Just a 74-53 lead.
”Our offense comes and goes,” Favors said. ”But we always control defense.”
The Sixers led 12-11 in their home opener, then Utah used its first 13-0 run to quiet Sixers fans.
”It’s important, especially for a young team trying to find confidence,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
Jazz: Snyder spent one season as an assistant with Philadelphia. … Gordon Hayward scored 12 points and Trey Burke had 10. … The Jazz outscored the Sixers 40-22 in the paint. … Hood hit three 3-pointers. … Rudy Gobert grabbed 11 rebounds and had six blocked shots.
Sixers: The team exercised the third-year contact options on injured center Joel Embiid and Stauskas, and the fourth-year contract option on Noel. … Stauskas made his 76ers’ debut and was called ”Sauce Castillo” by the PA announcer after his baskets. Stauskas earned the nickname after it once mistakenly popped up on the closed captioning on TV. … Patti LaBelle sang the national anthem.
The Sixers held a moment of silence for former players Darryl Dawkins and Moses Malone, and longtime statistician Harvey Pollack. All three died in the offseason. The Sixers dedicated the scorer’s table to Pollack and they painted Dawkins and Malone’s numbers on the court in tribute. ”Sixers have true respect for their history – Pollack, Moses, Dawkins!” Villanova coach Jay Wright tweeted.
Utah held the 76ers to 77.0 points per game in two wins last season. The Sixers made only 19 of 63 shots on Friday and their starting five combined for only 11 baskets.
Utah forward Trevor Booker scored two points in his season debut after he served a one-game suspension in the opener for a preseason fight.
Jazz: Utah visits Indiana on Saturday.
Sixers: Philadelphia hosts Cleveland on Monday.