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Updated January 7th, 2024 at 17:00 IST

Markkanen, Sexton have double-doubles to lead Utah past the 76ers 120-109 with Embiid out

Lauri Markkanen had 33 points and 13 rebounds, and Collin Sexton added 22 points and 10 assists to lead the Utah Jazz past the Philadelphia 76ers 120-109 on Saturday night.

Reported by: Associated Press Television News
Utah Jazz's Collin Sexton
Utah Jazz's Collin Sexton | Image:AP
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Lauri Markkanen had 33 points and 13 rebounds, and Collin Sexton added 22 points and 10 assists to lead the Utah Jazz past the Philadelphia 76ers 120-109 on Saturday night.

Reigning MVP and two-time defending scoring champion Joel Embiid missed the game for Philadelphia because of swelling in his left knee.

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The 76ers not only suffered a 36-point defeat to the Knicks on Friday, they lost Embiid and also Tobias Harris to an ankle injury. The Sixers also played without key rotation players De’Anthony Melton (lumbar spine soreness) and Robert Covington (illness).

Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers with 25 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 24. Philadelphia fell to 2-6 without Embiid.

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Embiid’s absence was, of course, quite significant. Not only because of what his presence means to the Sixers, but Embiid could put himself at risk at becoming ineligible to win major NBA awards.

Embiid has now missed eight games this season. The new collective bargaining agreement requires players, in most instances, to play in 65 regular-season games to be eligible for awards such as MVP or the All-NBA teams. Embiid has only met that threshold twice, when he played a career-best 68 games in 2021-22, and 66 games last season. He missed the last four games of December with a sprained right ankle.

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The absences forced coach Nick Nurse to try some oddball lineups. The Sixers opened the second quarter with Pat Beverley, KJ Martin, Oubre., Nic Batum and Mo Bamba on the court.

That was enough to spark the Jazz to just their sixth road win of the season and fourth win in five games overall. The Jazz were coming off a 29-point loss a night earlier at Boston.

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The 7-foot Markkanen took advantage of his considerable size advantage to make 12 of 19 shots from the floor. He hit a 3-pointer in the fourth to cut off a small Sixers rally and push the lead to 105-91. Sexton hit consecutive baskets late in the game for a 15-point lead and the Sixers crowd booed headed into a timeout.

The Jazz gave the Sixers an early taste of how they tied a franchise record with 154 points in an overtime win over Detroit on Wednesday. They made 13 of 20 shots in the first quarter before they resumed a normal pace and led 58-57 at the break.

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John Collins scored 19 points for Utah and Jordan Clarkson had 18.

 

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Published January 7th, 2024 at 17:00 IST

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