A matchup with Philadelphia figured to be favorable for the Utah Jazz and their struggling road defense. The 76ers, however, are proving they won’t back down from superior teams.
The Jazz look to bounce back from perhaps their worst road loss of the season Wednesday night against a 76ers club coming off its most impressive win.
This is the third game for Utah (10-5) in a tough stretch that has it on the road for 12 of 16 games before Christmas. While the Jazz have won six straight at home, they’ve dropped three of their last four away from Salt Lake City, including a 113-109 loss at New York on Monday night.
It marked the third time this season the Jazz allowed 110 points or more away from home.
This contest appeared to be one of Utah’s easier road games of the month, as Philadelphia (4-9) is 2-4 at the Wachovia Center and averaging just 91.2 points per game there. But the 76ers are coming off a 114-99 victory at Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
It was Philadelphia’s first win this season over a team that currently has a winning record, although Sixers veteran Kyle Korver said the victory won’t mean much if the team doesn’t string together more of them.
“That was one game, we can’t keep on having these stretches of four or five bad games and then get a good game and say we’ve kind of turned a corner or we’re young or we’re learning,” Korver said. “We don’t want to keep doing all that stuff.”
If Philadelphia hopes to pull off another upset, it will need to find a way to stop red-hot Jazz forward Carlos Boozer.
Boozer had 30 points and 12 rebounds against the Knicks for his 12th double-double in 15 games. He scored 36 points in a win over Detroit on Sunday, giving him at least 30 in consecutive games for the third time this season.
Boozer is averaging 25.3 points per game - well above last season’s career-best 20.9 - but has only averaged 13.7 in 12 career games against the 76ers.
Utah guard Deron Williams, who appears to have recovered from a nagging toe injury, continues to complement Boozer nicely. The third-year guard had 26 points and eight assists against New York, and has scored 20 or more in three of his last four games.
Williams will match up against Philadelphia’s Andre Miller, who had 18 points and a season-high nine assists on Tuesday.
Andre Iguodala and Korver also came through with big games against the Bucks. Korver, who had missed the previous four games with a strained groin, went 4-for-5 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points.
Iguodala has been a consistent bright spot for a Sixers team that had dropped seven of its previous eight. He added 20 points and 11 assists versus Milwaukee after a 26-point, 11-rebound performance in an overtime loss to Golden State on Saturday night.