by Daniel Olsen
Both teams were healthy and ready for their final game of part one of the regular season schedule. While the Jazz were ahead for a good portion of the game, Joel Embiid hit a three to tie the game up at the end of regulation. The 76ers cruised to a 131-123 win over the Jazz to split the regular season series.
This time, the Jazz had Conley back and the 76ers had Embiid. Both players were outstanding as they were both productive for their teams. Conley had 18 points and made all his attempts from three. Embiid had a monster 40 points and 19 rebounds on the night. While the Jazz came just short, they played a good game. They just ran into a great team on the road.
Donovan Mitchell was the star early and often as he scored 10 points in the first quarter and 15 in the first half. He had similar production in the second half. Overtime is when the wheels came off. Due to some calls he disagreed with, Mitchell voiced his frustration to the referees. Within a few minutes was given two technical fouls and an early exit to the locker room.
Rudy Gobert didn’t have his best game, but he had several key stops late in the game to contain an MVP candidate in Embiid. Even containing him for a possession or two was hard work. On one play, he stood his ground and kept his hands high to contest the shot. It resulted in a miss. Gobert didn’t have the most impressive stat line at 12 points and 9 rebounds. He still had a block and several contested shots that the box score doesn’t take into account.
Joe Ingles was the best player on the night as the team was plus 13 with him on the court. He had 16 points in the game. It was much needed as all the starters were brutally outscored when they were on the court.
There was some frustration on late game calls with some fouls that went unnoticed. However, one controversial out of bounds call was the game-changer. Royce O’Neale didn’t step on the line after reviewing the play. However, one ref claimed after the fact that he felt the ball brush his leg. Under NBA rule that would be out of bounds. Because of this, Embiid was able to make the tying three on the next possession to send it to overtime. It was an difficult way to end the game, but the Jazz will come back ready to win in the second half of the season which gets much easier.
Mitchell voiced his frustration after the game about the officiating getting out of hand. The full video can be seen in this tweet.
The Jazz still have the best record in the Western Conference by three games and the best in the NBA. They will have a nine day break and get some much needed rest.
• Jordan Clarkson now has 62 consecutive games with a made three. That’s tied for number 18 all-time.
• This is just the second time all season that the Jazz have lost two straight games.
• The Jazz have only lost two games to teams not currently in the playoff picture. They are the improving New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves early in the season.
• The Jazz have split with the best team in the Eastern Conference every year since the 2016-2017 season when they were swept by the Boston Celtics. If Philadelphia wins the top seed, this streak will continue.
• This is the first OT game the Jazz have been in this season. In the NBA bubble last year, they lost two overtime games, both to the Denver Nuggets.
• In these last two losses, the Jazz have allowed 74 points in the paint in each game.
• The Jazz entered the All-Star break last season on a four game winning streak. They will look to start winning again when they take on the Houston Rockets next Friday on March 12, 2021.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images