A five point loss has never felt so relieving.
The 76ers capped their 3-game road trip in Salt Lake City to take on the Jazz. After their record setting bad back-to-back losses in Los Angeles and the next night against Golden State, the Sixers were searching for any sign of improvement to build on going into the All-Star break. They may have found a little Wednesday.
Despite the five point loss, Philly shot better than the Jazz going 46 percent to Utah’s 42. They even got the Jazz from beyond the arc shooting at 44.2 percent on the night. James Anderson going 5-8 from outside helped this percentage. The only shots Anderson hit were from three-point range.
Michael Carter-Williams had himself a solid evening scoring 19 points, while picking up eight assists and five rebounds. Spencer Hawes had a bounce back night picking up a double-double. Hawes finished up with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
All five staters for finished in double figures. However hardly any production from the bench. Only 10 points between four players, and none of them coming from 6th man Tony Wroten. The offensive spark plug for the team, the only player to get into double figures in their 48 point loss to the Clippers, didn’t even attempt a shot.
A lot talk before the game centered around the rookie guard match up of Carter-Williams and Jazz sensation Trey Burke. MCW got the victory in the head to head match up as Burke only picked up seven points on 3-12 shooting.
However, it didn’t seem that the Sixers were ready for the game that Alec Burks had. The third year guard exploded for 26 points. He only went 6-10 from the field but went 13-14 from the foul line.
The Sixers found themselves down 12 points in the final 5:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter. However Philly kept chipping away and eventually Carter-Williams tied the game at 91-91 on a 3-point play. Burks then went on a 9-0 run that kept the 76ers at bay for the most part.
It was not until some really clutch late 3-pointers from James Anderson, did the Sixers really have a chance in this game. Those shots late brought the score a bit closer than it was.
The loss is the 8th straight for the Sixers as well as their 9th straight in Utah overall. The All-Star break has arrived in the NBA and its hard to argue that any team in the NBA needs it more than Philly. Hopefully they can take some time and regroup. Probably trading Evan Turner in the process.