The Sixers three-game winning streak came to an end, as they just could not buy a bucket all night.
Here are my thoughts on Thursday’s ugly loss to Utah.
-Early on, it was apparent both of these teams were on the second leg of a back to back. The Sixers shot 58.3% from the field in the first quarter.
-Joel Embiid deciding “I’m just gonna take this coast-to-coast” once a game is quite the development for the 7-footer.
With 11 first quarter points, he picked up right where he left off on Wednesday.
-Furkan Korkmaz is SLUMPING. He is shooting 15.6% from three over his last 10 games. Between his slump and Thybulle’s inconsistency, it’s time for Isaiah Joe to get some minutes in the rotation.
-Tyrese Maxey took a hard fall on a drive in the second quarter. He returned later in the quarter, but it was a scary moment.
-Utah completely took advantage of the Sixers’ drop coverage in the pick and roll. The Jazz walked into many open three-pointers, shooting 45% beyond the arc. Donovan Mitchell led the charge with 17 points in the first half.
-It’s incredible the Sixers went into the half only down seven, as they shot just 16.7% from three and went over four minutes without a field goal until Maxey’s layup with five seconds left. Their offensive rebounding struggles also continued, surrendering eight in the first half.
-The Sixers just could not get looks to fall. They continued to generate open three-pointers, but only made one in the third quarter.
-After a 32-point first quarter, the Sixers scored a combined 44 points in the second and third quarter. Even a mediocre shooting night would’ve put them in a good position to win the game.
-While dealing with right abdominal pain, Embiid had a brief stint in the locker room late in the third quarter. He would return, but the Jazz pushed their lead to double digits during his absence.
-I noted Korkmaz’s struggles in the first half, and it turns out so did head coach Doc Rivers, who went with Joe over Korkmaz in the third quarter.
-No one on the Sixers bench played well, but Andre Drummond particularly struggled against Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside. Georges Niang had to step in and play some small-ball center until Embiid returned.
-Gobert and Whiteside pulled down 31 rebounds together. The entire Sixers grabbed just 43.
-Embiid showed a little bit of fight in the fourth quarter, but the rest of the Sixers did not. The starters were pulled with about five minutes left. It wasn’t their night. The Sixers need to forget about this game quickly because the Golden State Warriors come to town Saturday night and tout the NBA’s best record at 20-4.