NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 14th (All times eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (34-32) at Utah Jazz (34-33), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Similar records don't necessarily foreshadow similar fates in the NBA.
At 34-32, the Philadelphia 76ers are all but assured a playoff spot in the top heavy Eastern Conference but the 34-33 Utah Jazz are on the outside, looking in at the postseason in the West as the two teams get ready to battle tonight in Salt Lake City.
The Sixers currently hold down the seventh spot in the East and are six games ahead of both Indiana and Charlotte with just 16 games to play in the regular season. However, the team is coming off its worst loss in over two months, a 102-74 drubbing at the hands of Milwaukee on Saturday in the opener of a five- game road trip.
Lou Williams led Philadelphia with 16 points in a reserve role during that one but the 76ers failed to capitalize on an emotional win over the Celtics Friday night and have dropped two of three, both coming on the second game of a back- to-back.
Jodie Meeks added 13 points and six rebounds for Philadelphia, but Milwaukee shot 53 percent from the field and forced the Sixers into 21 turnovers.
Philadelphia, which is 12-21 on the road, will also visit the Clippers, Kings and Trail Blazers on its trek.
The Jazz are currently 10th in the race for the postseason out West, two games behind Memphis after finishing a four-game road trip at 1-3, the last of which was a 118-100 rout at the hands of Chicago in the Windy City on Saturday.
Al Jefferson scored 33 points with 18 rebounds to lead Utah in that one and Devin Harris had 24 but the Jazz didn't have much of a chance considering some of the stats the Central Division-champion Bulls put up.
Besides shooting better than 52 percent, Chicago also:
- Smashed the previous franchise record of made three-pointers in a game, which was 15 against Miami on December 30, 1994.
- Set a franchise mark for made three-pointers in a quarter, hitting eight in the first stanza to break the previous record of seven set in that same Miami game in '94.
- Set a franchise record for made three-pointers in a half (the previous mark was 10 in the Miami game) in addition to tying the NBA record.
- Set season-highs with 34 points in the first quarter and 66 points in the first half.
The Jazz are now a dismal 3-10 since Jerry Sloan stepped down and Tyrone Corbin took over as head coach on Feb. 10.
"That window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller," Jefferson said of Utah's postseason chances. "Two weeks from now we can't say, 'We got to turn it on.' We have got to have it turned on by then."
The Sixers, who beat Utah 96-85 in south Philly back on Jan. 22, have lost five straight and 19 of their last 21 trips to Salt Lake City and haven't swept the home-and-home season series with the Jazz since the 1987-88 season.
03/14 10:49:27 ET