SALT LAKE CITY – Joel Embiid proved too much for the Utah Jazz in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 105-98 win.
Embiid posted a career-high 59 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, gave eight assists and blocked seven shots to become the first player in NBA history to record those stats in a single game.
Lauri Markkanen scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Malik Beasley grabbed 18 from the bench. As a unit, the Jazz shot just 39 percent from the floor and 29 percent from the three-point line.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) November 14, 2022
Embiid was brilliant, but Jazz didn’t help itself
Make no mistake, Joel Embiid’s night was truly one of a kind and he’s the only reason the 76ers won the game.
Philadelphia beat the Jazz by 25 points in Embiid’s 37 minutes and was outplayed by 18 points in the eight minutes he was on the bench.
But as good as Embiid was, the jazz did little to make his life miserable.
Embiid earned 24 trips to the foul line and knocked down 20 of his attempts. All too often, the Jazz fouled Embiid while wide of the basket and unable to score.
At times, the team was just too small to guard the 7ft, 280lb Superstar.
FIFTY. SEVEN. pic.twitter.com/QudsKE5Fwm
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 14, 2022
Kelly Olynyk, Lauri Markkanen, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Rudy Gay each got a chance to guard Embiid, and none of them succeeded.
Embiid threw down 19-28 field goals connecting on middle-distance jumpers against the Jazz’s larger defenders and brought the team’s smaller defenders to paint.
When the Jazz double matched him, Embiid found his teammates for easy baskets.
Defensively, the Jazz repeatedly challenged the All-NBA center, and he responded by tying his career-high with seven blocks, five of which came at crucial points in the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, Embiid proved unstoppable on Sunday night, but jazz did little to make life difficult for him.
Mike Conley has gone cold
Mike Conley is excited to return to Utah after a bumpy three-game road trip for the team.
The veteran guard averaged 4.3 points per game while shooting 4-21 in the last three games, including 1-11 from the three-point line.
Tracks like this make it clear that Conley’s age and height are beginning to affect his performance.
Mike Conley’s last two games have been HARD.
Poor pass on Vanderbilt followed by a pointless foul to give Embiid freebies.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) November 14, 2022
The 35-year-old has struggled to fire that shot inside color against taller defenders and when he fails to score with three-pointers he becomes a hesitant shooter and begins to force difficult passes.
As a result, Conley had three turnovers against the 76ers, which equaled his high of the season.
The veteran has missed just one game this season due to rest breaks, but as the schedule wears down, the team may want to find more ways to give Conley nights off. If they don’t, his bouts of bad play may become more frequent than she can handle.
Is the sprint over?
Notably, the Jazz looked tired after their losses to the 76ers on Sunday and the Washington Wizards on Saturday afternoon, despite having two days off before the games.
The Jazz were the NBA’s surprise team, opening the year 10-3, but their last two losses looked a lot like the team most anticipated going into the season.
Markkanen was unfazed in the fourth quarter, scoring two points on the 1-2 shot while being repeatedly burned by Embiid. Looking like the gunslinger of old, Jordan Clarkson scored just 12 points on 4-15 shooting.
Kelly Olynyk, who scored 58 percent from three hits in the team’s first 11 games, suddenly scored 25 percent in his last three games.
Young teams can start the NBA season hot by treating the 82-game schedule like a sprint instead of a marathon and burning off a lot of energy early in the year.
The Jazz certainly got off to a hot start, the question is have they sprinted to a quick 10 wins or do they have more in the tank.
With ten of the team’s next 15 games at home, can they maintain their 10-5 start to the season or will preseason expectations finally catch up?
The Jazz return to Utah Tuesday night at 7 p.m. MT to host the New York Knicks. The game will be televised and can be heard on AT&T SportsNet 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also be streamed DirectTV stream and Football TV.