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Road letdowns pile up for Jazz with 99-93 loss to the 76ers

Published November 17, 2012 6:09 pm

NBA • Carroll, Millsap drive Utah's rallies,but 76ers pull away.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Philadelphia • Gone are the days of Mo Williams proclaiming that he prefers playing on the road. Suddenly, having everyone and everything going against you doesn't seem so appealing. The Jazz have taken that test and failed.

These are the days of the Jazz needing a 3-pointer from Al Jefferson in Toronto to win a single road game, of Saturday's game at winless Washington looking about as inviting as a tango with a grizzly.

"We showed some fight," Tyrone Corbin said after the Jazz's latest road letdown, this one a 99-93 loss to the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.

What the Jazz (4-6) have not shown is an ability to close out games away from EnergySolutions Arena, where they are 3-0. The Jazz overcame two double-digit deficits behind an inspired night from end-of-the-bench glue guy DeMarre Carroll, but the result was the same as Wednesday in Boston, Saturday in Denver, and in Memphis, in San Antonio and New Orleans: A loss.

The Jazz very nearly avoided that result this time, and for that opportunity they can thank Paul Millsap, who scored 22 points — 20 in the second half — and Carroll.

The Jazz tied the game at 71 on a jumper by Randy Foye, and pulled within four on a 3-pointer by Mo Williams with 3:29 remaining. But on the next possession, Williams missed an ill-advised transition 3, sending the Sixers on an 8-3 run.

Carroll, the erstwhile starter who first moved down the Jazz rotation and then entirely out of the rotation, provided a spark the Jazz sorely needed in the second quarter.

He scored eight points in the quarter, keying a 17-2 Jazz run that saw the Jazz take a brief 35-32 lead. Carroll finished with a career-high 17 points.

Carroll eclipsed his previous career high of 16, which he scored on April 8 against the Spurs.

That Corbin called on Carroll at all may have been the upset of the game.

Carroll had not played meaningful minutes since Nov. 3 in San Antonio. But Corbin saw Jason Richardson get open shot after open shot, and Evan Turner turning the corner with too much frequency.

"I wanted a defensive guy to come out and be aggressive," he said.

He found Carroll, who had not played in five of the Jazz's last six games. The former first-round pick of the Memphis Grizzlies was a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor, including a 3-pointer that pulled the Jazz within 71-69 amid a 13-2 run that saw them come back to tie the game after trailing 69-58.

"That's my niche," Carroll said. "That's how I got in the league. I'm just staying true to myself. I'm a blue-collar guy."

It was a pleasant surprise at small forward for the Jazz, who needed it after Marvin Williams was a non-factor. The first-year Jazz player scored just two points on four shot attempts in 22 minutes.

Mo Williams, who scored 12 points despite an injured right thumb — first jammed in Toronto, reinjured on the first play Friday — endorsed Carroll's performance, and Millsap said the fourth-year pro "earned some minutes" with his performance.

"He brings a lot of energy to the team," Williams said. "When he does, he makes plays like that. Nobody's going to make all their shots, but the intangible part of the game that he brings is irreplaceable."

But the Jazz couldn't help Carroll to a fully satisfying return to the court. The Sixers were coming off an embarrassing double-digit home loss to previously winless Detroit on Wednesday, and started out Friday on fire, as Corbin said before the game he feared they would.

Philadelphia made 10 of its first 14 shots, including four 3-pointers, to take a 24-13 lead. After the Jazz went up 37-35 on a basket by Carroll, the Sixers closed the half on a 15-5 run and led 50-42 at the break.

"I just wish we had the same effort and intensity to start the game off," Millsap said, "as when we tied the game. How to keep that same intensity?" —

Storylines 76ers 99, Jazz 93

R The Jazz rally twice from double-digit deficits but lose on the road for the sixth time in seven games.

• Despite not playing in five of the last six games, DeMarre Carroll scores a career-high 17 points in 23 minutes. —

Jazz at Wizards

P At Verizon Center (Washington, D.C.)

Tipoff • Saturday, 5 p.m.

TV • ROOT

Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM

Season series • First matchup

Records • Jazz 4-6; Wizards 0-7

About the Jazz • The Jazz are 1-6 on the road. … Guard Randy Foye spent one season with Washington. In 2009-10, he averaged 10.1 points in 23.8 minutes per game. … Mo Williams leads Utah with 16.5 points per game, and Paul Millsap averages 16.1 points.

About the Wizards • Washington is the last remaining team in the NBA without a win. … Rookie Bradley Beal leads the team with 11.6 points per game. … Washington has played just two games at home, losing to Boston and Milwaukee.