SALT LAKE CITY -- The Sixers did not get demolished. That was an accomplishment in itself.
Still, they did suffer a 105-100 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night in their final game before the all-star break to close out a three-game road trip (see Instant Replay). The defeat was a season-worst eighth in a row for the Sixers.
While people are not in this business for moral victories, Sixers head coach Brett Brown was pleased to see his team resemble the group he has come to know this season.
“We got down 14 and I brought the starters back in earlier than I normally do, and we tied it up,” Brown said. “To be humbled the last few games as we had been and to be down points on the road in a loud building, I am proud of what we did.”
The Sixers lost their previous two games to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors by a combined 88 points. It would have been easy for the Sixers to fold up in the last game before the extended break.
Instead, the Sixers had all five starters score in double figures. Evan Turner scored 21 points. Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams each had 19 points. Spencer Hawes had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. James Anderson added 15.
All that offense put the Sixers in position to tie the game up at 91 apiece when Carter-Williams got a tough layup and a foul with 2:10 remaining.
The Sixers' threat didn't last long, as Jazz reserve Alec Burks went on a personal 9-0 run over the next minute and a half to give them a nice-sized cushion.
Anderson drilled a trio of three-pointers in the final 18 seconds, but it wasn't enough to get the Sixers over the hump.
“It came late. I wish it would have come a little earlier,” Anderson said. “I made two but I missed another two. But it did feel good to be in a rhythm like that. I actually had my legs under me tonight. Anytime I can get my legs under me and prepare for the shot, it helps.”
The Sixers entered the game shooting 31.3 percent from three this season. That number has fallen off a cliff over the past two games, as the Sixers connected on a dismal 5 of 45 attempts from long range.
Hawes helped change the team’s three-point fortunes by hitting two long balls early in the third quarter to help prevent the game from getting out of hand.
“If that’s what the game tells you is open, then you are going to have to have some people who have the ability to make those types of shots,” Brown said. “They give such a crowd to our team in general that Spencer stepping back out of that and making bigs have to find him. That is a weapon.”
Utah had its own weapons starting with its bench. The Jazz reserves outscored the Sixers' bench, 56-10 on Wednesday. Burks did most of that damage, finishing with a game-high 26 points.
The Jazz also were plus-10 points at the foul line and plus-10 in second-chance points in the game.
The Sixers have 28 games remaining after the extended break, starting with a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 18th at the Wells Fargo Center.