Losing to the Jazz Saturday night, the shorthanded Sixers completed a dreadful 0-2 back-to-back. They lost 120-109 at Wells Fargo Center, falling to 23-12.
Utah is 17-20. Star Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen scored 33 and grabbed 13. Collin Sexton scored 22 and John Collins 19. Tyrese Maxey scored 25 and had nine assists for the Sixers. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 24.
Joel Embiid (left knee swelling), Tobias Harris (left ankle discomfort), De'Anthony Melton (lumbar spine pain), Robert Covington (sickness), and Furkan Korkmaz (illness) were out for the Sixers
The Sixers play the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday. Observations on their Utah loss: In beginning Saturday, Paul Reed became the last Sixer to play every game this season.
Opened the night with Maxey, Oubre, Nicolas Batum, and Morris Morris Sr. Embiid's absence was noticeable, and the Sixers didn't start like a club trying to win their back-to-back.
Markkanen drove by Batum and scored a lefty layup on Utah's first possession. Markkanen's fast-break dunk after a Maxey inbounds pass gave the Jazz an 8-2 lead. Under two minutes into the game, Sixers coach Nick Nurse called timeout. Utah hit its first five field goals and enjoyed early success in the paint without Embiid to dissuade drives and prevent perimeter blunders.
The Sixers ultimately got hot against the Jazz, a bottom-10 defensive club this year. Morris' three got the score to 12 all.
Utah made 13 of their first 14 turnovers. Sloppy and self-inflicted turnovers aside, the Sixers defended effectively in the first half and fought on the glass. The Sixers' low turnover start made their transition defense less vulnerable in shorthanded situations.