|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , November 6, 2019
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah Attendance: 18,306
76ers eager for Embiid's defense against Jazz
Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz
- Philadelphia has won four straight against Utah after losing the previous nine games in the matchup. The Sixers' current four-game win streak against the Jazz is their longest versus Utah since winning four straight from January 1987 to December 1988.
- The Sixers lost their first game of the season, falling to the Suns in Phoenix, 114-109. Joel Embiid missed the last two games due to suspension and has missed three overall. Philadelphia has allowed 97.0 points per game in the three games with Embiid compared to 117.7 per in the three games without him.
- The Jazz have lost two straight, falling on the road to the Kings and the Clippers after opening the season 4-1. Utah allowed an average of 103.5 points in these two losses after limiting each of its first five opponents to 96 points or fewer (92.4 ppg).
- Philadelphia's opponents are averaging 38.5 rebounds, fewest in the NBA, while Utah's opponents are averaging 41.3, third fewest. The Sixers have won the rebound battle in five of their six games this season, winning all five, while the Jazz are 3-0 when outrebounding their opponent.
- In three games with Joel Embiid playing, Al Horford has averaged 11.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. In three games without Embiid, Horford has averaged 26.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists.
- Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 36 points in his team's Sunday loss to the Clippers, connecting on 11-of-21 (.524) field-goal attempts and 4-of-6 three-pointers. Mitchell is currently shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from deep, up from marks of 43.2 and 36.2 in 2018-19.
Joel Embiid returns to the Philadelphia 76ers on the heels of the team's first loss of the season.
Embiid served a two-game suspension for his altercation with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and will be back in the lineup on Wednesday night when the 76ers visit the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.
Embiid was penalized for the incident with Towns last Wednesday night that was followed by profane insults on social media. His defensive presence was missed in the second game of his suspension when the Phoenix Suns recorded a 114-109 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Suns star guard Devi n Booker operated at will to score 40 points on 15-of-19 shooting as the 76ers (5-1) had no answers on how to stop him.
"Obviously defensively, I thought they never really felt us in the second half," Philadelphia forward Tobias Harris told reporters after the loss. "They got too many easy looks, too many open looks."
The 76ers will be happy to have Embiid back near the basket as well as for his offensive exploits (23.3 scoring average) and rebounding (10.3).
Veteran power forward Al Horford did a pretty fair impression of Embiid during the two games by averaging 28.5 points. Horford pumped in a season-best 32 on 13-of-20 shooting in Monday's loss.
"For the last couple of games, obviously with Joel being out, I felt like I've had to step up a little more, be more aggressive and look to score," Horford told reporters after the defeat. "Tonight the way they were defending me, it gave me a lot of looks and I took advantage of that."
Utah (4-3) will be looking to halt a two-game slide that includes Sunday's 105-94 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Jazz were manhandled on the boards by a 54-37 margin, much to the chagrin of coach Quin Snyder. The Clippers collected 18 offensive rebounds and posted a 29-8 edge in second-chance points.
"The biggest thing was the defensive glass," Snyder told reporters. "It was too much to overcome if we're not getting bodies on people and getting rebounds. We can have a good possession defensively. But if we don't secure the ball, it's wasted."
Star guard Donovan Mitchell scored a season-best 36 points to raise his scoring average to 25.7. Mitchell has scored 24 or more points in six of Utah's seven games.
While Mitchell has been superb, newcomer Mike Conley (12.4 points) is struggling and shooting just 31.8 percent from the field.
As Conley's shots clank off the rim, center Rudy Gobert wonders why more passes aren't coming his way.
Gobert averaged a career-best 15.9 points last season but is five points below that at 10.9.
"The drive is great but the pass to the big is a weapon that we have and we don't use it," Gobert told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Usually, I feel like we can lob it up. But once the lob isn't there, we're not really looking. It's on me to get in good positions at the rim, and at the same time, it's on my teammates to want to find me."
Gobert had 12 points and 14 rebounds against the Clippers for his second straight double-double and third of the season.
Embiid averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds while the 76ers were sweeping last season's two games against the Jazz. Gobert averaged 14.5 points and 12.5 boards.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 5, 2019