03/15/11 9:42 am EST
Well, at least the 76ers didn’t completely bend over like Saturday’s degrading defeat in Milwaukee. Monday night was wild in Utah, featuring a lethargic first half, a roaring fourth quarter comeback and (of course) more interesting late game strategies. The Sixers (34-33) fell in overtime to the Jazz 112-107 and now own a wretched record of 2-6 in games that go to the extra period.
I was yawning in the first half, wishing the contest was a video game so I could simulate the rest of it. And I bet most of the Sixers would’ve paid for my simulation suggestion. The Jazz scored 60 points and led by 18. The 7-6 behaved like they didn’t want to play basketball, allowing the Jazz to shoot 55 percent in the first half on masses of wide open midrange jumpers. Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday combined to go 2-for-15 in the first two quarters, simply unacceptable for a team gunning for the fifth seed. Holiday seemingly took the night off, scoring four points with four turnovers.
Coach Collins was as angrily vocal as I’ve seen him the entire season in the first half. Dougie had several choice phrases beginning with the letter F. He channeled that negatively energy skillfully in the locker room, because the Sixers looked like children on a caffeine rush. Philly opened up the quarter on a 7-0 run and slimmed down Utah’s lead to 13 entering the fourth, a doable comeback by NBA standards.