SALT LAKE CITY – The inability to be consistent, something that has haunted the 76ers all season long, reared its ugly head again Monday night.
One night after the lowest-scoring team in the NBA played with bounce in its stride, the sluggishness that has been a hallmark all season returned in an ugly 107-91 loss to the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.
The Sixers (27-43) shot the ball poorly and never led. They trailed by 19 at the end of the third quarter. Utah, which began the night 11/2 games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot, led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter.
The loss came at the end of a four-game Western Conference road trip for the Sixers. It also came one night after they ended their road losing streak at 15 games.Both teams were playing for the second straight night. The fact that the Jazz still have something to play for should not have been a factor, Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “In this league, you play back-to-back,” Collins said. “I think they played last night, too. So I’m not going to give that excuse.”
Former Villanova star Randy Foye led the Jazz with 17 points. Foye was one of seven Utah players to reach double figures. The Jazz connected on almost 49 percent of their field goals.
The Sixers shot 38.6 percent from the field. After they notched 31 assists Sunday night in a win over Sacramento, they finished with a season-low nine against the Jazz.
Dorell Wright led the Sixers with 19 points. Rookie Arnett Moultrie finished with a career-high 14 points and eight rebounds. Spencer Hawes also finished with 14 points and eight boards. Hawes and Damien Wilkins (13 points) were the only Sixers starters to score in double figures.
The Sixers trailed by just 45-40 after a jumper by Lavoy Allen with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first half, but the Jazz responded with a closing flurry.
A three-pointer by Foye after a timeout started a 13-2 Utah run that gave the Jazz a 58-42 halftime lead. During that stretch, the Sixers’ only points came on a pair of Hawes free throws in the final minute of the half.
“We gave them 14 straight points,” Collins said. “Turnovers – six straight turnovers. We gave up 24 points on turnovers. I told them, ‘You are not going to come in here and beat Utah like that.’
“It’s disappointing. I was hoping we would be better tonight. We had a clunker against the Clips. Played very well against Denver and played very well against Sacramento. But we did not play well tonight.”