SALT LAKE CITY — They didn't have a pep band. They didn't do funky dance moves on the court after the final buzzer. It didn't earn them a Sweet 16 bid, either.
For that matter, Monday's game wasn't nearly as dramatic as Wichita State's stunning win over No. 1 Gonzaga that took place in the same arena Saturday night.
But make no mistake. The Utah Jazz's 107-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers was nearly just as big for their postseason aspirations.
Coupled with Golden State's 109-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Jazz are now only one game out of a playoff spot with 11 games remaining.
But forget March Madness and the NBA's postseason for a moment.
For a night, the Jazz were just relieved to remember what it felt like to finish on the right side of the scoreboard after four straight losses, including a tough Texas trip that saw them lose in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.
"It was a good win for us. We needed it," Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward said. "It was nice to end the streak, but we have a lot of work to do. We have to build some momentum from this game and look forward to the next one."
That next one also comes at home against a sub-.500 team (23-48 Phoenix), and it's one of seven remaining games at EnergySolutions Arena. That fact matters more to the Jazz than any other team still fighting for a postseason spot, considering they are now 25-9 in Utah and a miserable 10-27 everywhere else.
"It was a much-needed win," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "I thought the effort for the most part all night long was pretty good on both ends of the floor."
If they keep playing like they did Monday — a continuation of solid play in losses during their road trip — the Jazz could find their way back into the West's top eight.
Seven Jazz players hit double figures in this victory, led by Randy Foye's 17 points and Hayward's 15. Both players hit three 3-pointers.
"Tonight it went our way on the floor," Jazz guard Mo Williams said. "We had a couple where it wasn't going our way for whatever reason, but we are still in the hunt. We just have to try and go out and win the games, especially at home."
Hayward drained a pair of 3s in the opening minutes as the Jazz burst out to a 10-0 start. That was the first of three double-digit runs for Utah in the first half.
"It was important for us to just come out and jump on them early, but we did it on the defensive end," Jazz power forward Paul Millsap said. "We got stops. We got steals. We got out and ran. And it opened up the game for us."
The Sixers, who won big in Sacramento on Sunday night, showed some life for a while in the first half, even pulling within a bucket on a couple of occasions.
But the Jazz bench spearheaded an 11-0 spurt, which included two Derrick Favors dunks and one Enes Kanter slam.
Utah all but put the Sixers away for good with a 13-0 run late in the first half.
The Jazz went to the locker room ahead 58-42, and the Sixers never got any closer than 12 after that.
"We kind of let them know what kind of game it was going to be," Jefferson said of the Jazz's strong start. "We got stops when we needed it."
Utah limited the Sixers to 38.6 percent shooting and just nine assists.
While winning only their fourth game of the season with a wire-to-wire lead, the Jazz were as smooth from start to finish as they've been in some time.
Utah shot 48.8 percent, got at least nine points from all five starters, had double-digit outputs from three reserves and blocked 10 shots.
"Everything felt great, brother. Everything felt great," Jefferson said. "That's the way we've got to play like that, especially on our home floor."
Philadelphia (27-43) finished with a 1-3 record on its four-game road trip out West. But the Jazz were also playing a back-to-back, having lost in Dallas on Sunday, so both teams were physically taxed.
The Jazz simply played like it meant more for them, which it does considering Philly is all but out of the playoff race in the East.
"They just jumped out on us," Sixers forward Thaddeus Young said. "It's the end of the road trip and I think guys are a little bit tired, but that's no excuse for our play tonight."
NOTES: The Jazz hadn't scored 58 points in a first half since hitting for 59 on Jan. 14 in a victory over Miami. Favors finished with a double-double — his sixth of the season — with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also had three of the Jazz's 10 blocked shots. Utah hadn't won a game in which it held the lead for the entire night since a Feb. 19 win over Golden State.
EMAIL: [email protected]