SALT LAKE CITY - After coming up short in Boston, the Sixers (22-13) will be looking to bounce back against the Jazz (17-18).
• When: 10:30 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 10 p.m.
• Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
Here are three storylines to watch:
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The Sixers' lack of bench depth was once again on display on Christmas Day, failing to score in the first half against the Celtics. Mike Muscala had one of his worst offensive outputs as a Sixer, finishing 1 of 8 from beyond the arc. In contrast, the bench has been one of Utah's strengths as of late, averaging 48.8 points on 56.1 percent shooting from the field and 44.6 percent from beyond the arc over the last six home games (five wins).
Rudy Gobert defending Joel Embiid
Earlier in the season, Gobert was hesitant to extend his defense to the perimeter, recently admitting that his trepidation was based more out of wanting to stay in his comfort zone than anything else. He has since embraced his adapted role on defense and it has paid dividends to Utah. That Gobert-Embiid matchup should certainly be a fun one to watch tonight. In their first matchup of the season, Embiid finished with 23 points (7 of 20 clip, 1 of 4 from three) and seven rebounds in 26 minutes.
Spida Mitchell in the second half
Donovan Mitchell is leading all sophomores in scoring this season (20.2 points per game), and he dropped 31 in their last matchup (including 13 in the fourth quarter). The numbers show that Mitchell turns up his game in second halves this season where he's averaging 11.5 points and shooting 42.1 percent from the field. Can't let Donovan get comfortable if this game comes down to crunch time.
Bonus: Utah shot 18.2 percent from three in its last matchup (4 of 22). The Sixers can't rely on that tonight.
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