Markkanen, Sexton, Collins Carry Jazz Past 76ers

Jan 6, 2024, 8:50 PM | Updated: Jan 8, 2024, 11:45 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz surprised the shorthanded 76ers with a 120-109 victory in Philadelphia.

Playing without Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris the 76ers struggled to score the ball shooting just 40 percent from the floor and 18 percent from three.

The Jazz meanwhile shot a scorching 57 percent from the floor despite connecting on just 8-30 from downtown.

Starters Carry Jazz Against 76ers

Without Embiid on the floor, the Jazz were aggressively attacking the 76ers in the paint connecting on 30-33 shots near the rim including  14 dunks.

John Collins accounted for a season-high six dunks of his own en route to 19 points on 9-10 shooting.

Collins hasn’t scored more than 17 points over his last 10 games since returning from an illness that caused him to miss four contests in mid-December.

“I thought John did a really good job of mixing in setting screens and slipping and using his speed,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “John’s a really dynamic athlete as a roller. ”

Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 33 points and 13 rebounds while knocking down 5-9 threes.

It’s the fourth time in the last 12 months that Markkenen has recorded at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, and five threes in a single game.

The Finnish forward is the only player in Jazz history ever to do it.

While the Jazz’s starting frontcourt had one of its best outings of the season, Collin Sexton had another strong performance in Philadelphia.

The guard scored 22 points and handed out 10 assists on 9-14 shooting.

“Collin having 10 assists was big for us,” Hardy concluded. “I thought on the offensive end, we really tried to play a little bit more pick and roll against their five-man in the second half and I thought that our ball handlers made a lot of good reads.”

Jazz Road Trip Already A Success

Regardless of what happens on Monday night in Milwaukee, the Jazz can return home to Salt Lake City feeling like they’ve had a successful road trip.

Setting out to face the Boston Celtics, the 76ers, and the Bucks over a span of four nights, a winless road trip seemed like the team’s most likely outcome.

Though the Jazz had been playing well of late, having won nine of 12 and five of their last six games, playing the top three teams in the Eastern Conference in such quick succession was a tall task for any team.

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Yes, the 76ers were playing without Embiid, but the Jazz will take the win over Philadelphia unapologetically as it allows them to keep their momentum by avoiding an extended losing streak on the road, before returning home to face the reigning champion Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

After starting the season 1-11 on the road, the Jazz are 5-4 in their last nine games away from home, and have guaranteed themselves a record of at least .500 over a 10-game road stretch no matter the outcome against the Bucks.

Nightly Award: Jazz vs. 76ers

The “Mediocre Box Score, But Might Have Won Them The Game” Award:

Goes to Jordan Clarkson who scored 18 points and handed out six assists, but also missed all six of his three-point attempts and committed five turnovers off the bench.

However, Clarkson went on a one-man 7-0 run to open the fourth quarter extending an eight-point Jazz lead to 15 over a two minute stretch.

The 76ers never closed the gap to single digits over the final 11:14 minutes of the game.

Utah Jazz’s Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Bucks on Monday at 5 pm MST in Milwaukee. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Markkanen, Sexton, Collins Carry Jazz Past 76ers