The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for a showdown between title hopefuls the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers.
13:00 (AEDT), Thu 7th Nov @ Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
History: Played 99: Jazz 54 V 76ers 45
Last meeting: December 27, 2018: 76ers 114 d Jazz 97 at Vivint Smart Home Arena
Final Thoughts: The Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers have made strong starts to the NBA season, but both are coming off losses and are especially eager for a bounce-back result.
The 4-3 Jazz lost their last two on the road to the Kings (102-101) and Clippers (105-94). Donovan Mitchell put up 36 points and 6 assists against the Clippers, while Rudy Gobert had a double-double. But they were swamped in the final term after leading by four at three-quarter time.
The Jazz will relish the return home, where they boast three impressive wins from as many games.
After starting 5-0, the 76ers became another victim of the surprise-packet Suns in a 114-109 road loss. Al Horford (32 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast) and Tobias Harris (24 pts, 10 reb) attempted to pick up the slack left by the suspended Joel Embiid, but Ben Simmons was shut down in brutal fashion.
Embiid returns from the naughty corner, however, to line up against Gobert in what shapes as a titanic battle. That should also help free up Simmons.
After losing nine in a row to the Jazz, the 76ers have won the last four between the sides – all by margins of six or more.
Last season the Sixers prevailed 113-107 at home and 114-97 in Salt Lake City. Ben Simmons posted a triple-double in the latter, while Joel Embiid went off for 23 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Sixers are one of the NBA’s better offensive units. The Jazz are bottom-five for points scored, but they are a miserly defensive outfit. Utah’s high-quality win over the Clippers in their last home game is also still fresh in the memory.
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