Hill scores 21 in return, Jazz top 76ers 100-83 with big 4th

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — George Hill felt rusty and tired but he wanted to be on the floor when it counted.

With his team down by four entering the fourth quarter, Utah's starting point guard gathered the Jazz before going back on the court.

"'Hey, we've got to make a push. Let's get a couple stops here and get out quick on offense and string some good possessions together,'" Hill said.

His teammates listened and the Jazz promptly broke the game open.

Hill had 21 points in his return to the lineup after missing 13 games with a sprained toe, and Utah blitzed the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter to win 100-83 on Thursday night.

Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood each added 20 points for the Jazz (20-13), who outscored Philadelphia 30-9 in the final period. They shot 58 percent from 3-point range overall to win their second consecutive game after dropping three in a row.

"Our guys started to take things away from them on offense and get up into them. We relied on each other defensively and that's what broke the game open," said Hill, who also had eight rebounds and six assists.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 16 points and Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric both added 14, but the anemic fourth-quarter performance contributed to the 76ers' fourth straight loss.

Philadelphia, playing without leading scorer and rebounder Joel Embiid, surprisingly led for most of the game until collapsing late. The 76ers (7-24) shot 4 for 23 in the final 12 minutes.

Until that point, Utah's vaunted defense, ranked at the top of the NBA in many categories, was late closing out on shooters. On the other end, the Jazz were missing free throws and turning the ball over. Then, they instantly reversed their lackadaisical play.

"They weren't just out there. They were out there with a purpose," Utah coach Quin Snyder said about the game-changing run.

The 76ers led 74-70 entering the final quarter, but the Jazz quickly went on a 21-2 run with primarily reserve players (and Hill) to gain control. Trey Lyles blocked a shot and hit two 3-pointers to power the decisive surge.

"We were getting out on the break and really pushing the ball and finding open guys," Lyles said. "We were more active with our hands and getting deflections and making them turn the ball over."

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown saw his team get taught a tough lesson.

"It's a classic example of how fourth periods in the NBA are different from periods one through three," Brown said. "We got jumped."

Because of a slew of injuries, the game marked the first in which Utah started its preseason projected lineup of Hill, Hood, Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert.

The Jazz, who are 9-3 when Hill plays, outscored the 76ers by 33 in the 29 minutes he was on the court.


76ers: Jahlil Okafor had all 13 of his points in the first half. ... With Gerald Henderson out due to left hip soreness, Philadelphia used its 13th different starting lineup this season. ... Ilyasova's streak of games with a 3-pointer stretched to 28, second only to James Harden's 33.

Jazz: Utah has won nine straight against Philadelphia and 12 consecutive at home in the series. ... Gobert's streak of double-doubles ended at 11 games, the longest for the Jazz since Paul Millsap had 19 straight in 2008-09. Gobert had nine points and 13 rebounds. ... The Jazz are 15-5 when Hayward scores 20 points or more.


The Jazz, who hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, shot better from beyond the arc (15 of 26) than they did from the free throw line (15 of 28).


"We still have to figure out our rhythm a little bit and figure out the spacing and what works. For the most part, it felt good to have the starting unit back out there," Hayward said. Utah's starters had played only 12 minutes together all season before this game.


76ers: Play the final game of their four-game road trip at Denver on Friday.

Jazz: Host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday for their last home game before a five-game Eastern road swing.

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