Jazz best Sixers behind fourth quarter dominance

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 11.29.22 PM

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly Staff

With Joel Embiid announced as out for Thursday night's game vs. the Jazz, it seemed like a longshot that they would be able to stay in contention for a win.

That was bested however, as the Sixers made it a tight contest throughout, and kept the Jazz on their toes in the process. A win against a 19-13 Utah team would be quite the incentive for an Embiid-less Sixer squad.

At the end of the third quarter, the Sixers held onto a lead. It was a different story heading into the fourth quarter, as the Jazz turned on the jets for a 21-2 scoring run in the first six minutes.

Utah had a couple main contributions from players, but George Hill dominated the contest with 21 points, eight boards, and six assists in 29 minutes of play. Gordon Hayward had 20 points, and Rodney Hood brought 20 of his own points to the party.

Without Embiid down low to rebound and be a dominating presence down low, the Sixers relied heavily on Ersan Ilyasova, with his 16 points and 12 rebounds on the night.

Nerlens Noel, who took Embiid's minutes, had 14 points off the bench, and Dario Saric had 14 points of his own.

Robert Covington was unable to get anything done offensively, as he went 0-11 from the floor and only had a point off of a free throw attempt.

With three players who had over 20 points, and the emergence of George Hill, who was questionable at the start of the game, playing his first minutes since November, the Jazz took down the Sixers behind their big fourth quarter to hand Philadelphia their 24th loss of the season, with a final score of 100-83.

Utah improves to 20-13 on the season with the victory.

Next up on the schedule for the Sixers is a date on the road with the Denver Nuggets on Friday December 30, at 9 p.m. ET.