Utah looks to continue its dominance of Philadelphia and dodge its worst start since opening the 1979-80 season with four consecutive defeats as it plays its first home game Friday night.
The Jazz opened this season with a 96-71 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday and fell 117-100 to Denver the following night. Utah is shooting 39.6 percent and allowing opponents to make 48.4 percent of their attempts.
“We somewhat fell apart,” said Millsap, averaging a team-best 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. “We lost focus. It’s still early in the season. We’re not going to make excuses about it. They came out and worked harder than we did.”
Philadelphia worked hard in the second game of its season-opening five-game trip Wednesday night - especially in the second half - to beat Phoenix 103-83 after falling 107-103 to Portland on Monday.
The 76ers used a 19-0 run to start the second half and had six players score in double figures to earn just their fifth win in their last 25 visits to Phoenix.
“As an announcer I always said teams don’t warm as well after halftime as before the game,” coach Doug Collins said. “I have been adamant about coming out and warming up well and trying to hit them hard the first five minutes (of the second half.)”
Collins is looking for a similar effort as the 76ers try to snap a six-game losing streak in Utah. Philadelphia has dropped 20 of 22 there since the 1988-89 season and is 8-33 in the last 41 matchups overall.
The 76ers came close to earning a win in Utah last season by outscoring the Jazz 34-21 in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but they eventually lost 112-107 on March 14.
Jefferson had 30 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in that game, while Andre Iguodala led the way for Philadelphia with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Iguodala scored a game-high 22 points in a 96-85 win over Utah on Jan. 22 as Philadelphia ended a six-game skid in the series. He’s averaging 20.0 points during the six-game losing streak in Utah.
The Jazz are hoping to play better at home after going 21-20 in 2010-11 and losing 12 of their last 16 there. It was their worst season in Utah since posting an 18-23 record in 2004-05.
Utah plays 15 of its next 20 at home and doesn’t have consecutive road games until Feb. 6-7.
“The downfall we had toward the end of last season was unacceptable,” point guard Devin Harris said. “We know that, and we’re looking forward to getting back at it.”