Aside from the ongoing saga of Shawn Bradley, all the talk this week in the Philadelphia papers centered on how the Sixers couldn't score points. Try as they might, through eight games this season, they couldn't total a hundred points.

Of course, until Friday night they hadn't seen the Jazz defense. With star center Bradley sitting on the bench for all but eight minutes, the Sixers proceeded to break through the century barrier, pounding the Jazz 124-115."You look at that game," said Jazz forward Karl Malone, "and I think it was the most selfish game we've played. It's disappointing to lose like that."

Certainly the Jazz could point to their own weak-kneed defense as the cause for their demise. They shot a respectable 53 percent, including 16 of 20 in the third quarter. But that wasn't enough to offset their problems keeping the Sixers from making wide-open shots, outside and in. The Sixers landed eight of 12 3-pointers.

"Our defense has totally fallen apart," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "At least in this game it certainly did."

While Bradley played only sparingly, the Sixers barely noticed. Thirty-four-year-old Orlando Woolridge came off the bench to toss in 25 points, while teammate Jeff Hornacek scored 23. Eric Leckner, the ex-Jazzman who replaced Bradley in the starting lineup, had 13 points.

The formerly ineffective Philadelphia offense racked up a whopping 37 points on the Jazz in the second quarter.

"We were just shooting jump shots, playing very selfishly," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. "We were just thinking, 'Well, we're going to turn it on.' Not in this league."

After going ahead by two in the early fourth quarter, the Jazz never led again. Leckner's basket put the Sixers ahead by two and the Jazz couldn't recover.

A series of late foul-ups sealed the Jazz's fate. Jeff Malone and Tom Chambers missed consecutive shots, Corbin was stripped of the ball and Karl Malone missed an open bank-shot underneath. Meanwhile, Philadelphia built its lead to 112-103 with three mintues to go.

The Jazz finished the game flinging desperation 3-point tries.

Said the Mailman, "I'm not going to say it's embarrassing to lose to that team. They have a lot of young athletes who are hungry and have something to prove. But it's a little embarrassing the way we played."

Although the Jazz lost, it wasn't because of their own inability to score. The Mailman racked up a game-high 32 points.

Rookie Bryon Russell had his biggest night of the year, scoring 15 points on 7-8 shooting.

Considering how the 32 hours previous to playing Philadelphia went, it wasn't entirely surprising the Jazz came out looking sluggish and sloppy. Though they were coming off a victory at Miami Wednesday, things began get complicated soon after.

Arriving Thursday at Miami airport, they found their flight to Philadelphia had been canceled due to the American Airlines flight attendants' strike. It took more than two hours to get their tickets transferred to another airline.

Even so, the Jazz had no legitimate reason to lose to the Sixers. With a 2-6 record, Philly hadn't been able to hit the Atlantic Ocean with a rock until Friday, shooting only 42 percent on the year.

Although the Jazz got off quickly, rolling to a 24-15 lead, their own problems were obvious soon enough. Jeff Malone missed his first seven shots, Karl Malone four. By the end of the first quarter the Sixers, behind second-year forward Clarence Weatherspoon, had cut the Jazz lead to five.

Once the second period began, the Jazz found themselves defending the basket like Hussein defended Iraq: looking for shelter. Ex-Seattle guard Dana Barros came on in the second quarter with eight quick points, as Philadelphia caught the Jazz on back-to-back 3-pointers by Jeff Hornacek, going ahead 48-47.

As the Sixers moved steadily toward their best offensive game of the year, they were doing it without their marquee player, Bradley, who started the game on the bench (see accompanying story).

Bradley's first day as a reserve since he was 15 didn't start off well. Entering the game with 6:10 remaining in the first period, he managed to do nothing more than pick up a rebound and two personal fouls in the four minutes and 45 seconds he played in the first half.

Shortly after coming in, he missed a 12-foot jumper, then picked up two fouls, followed by a missed 20-footer. Veteran Tom Chambers took Bradley to the basket for a layup and Karl Malone rebounded a shot, then finger-rolled one in past Bradley.

Nine seconds later, Bradley, who had a scratched eye and flu symptoms already this week, left with a sprained ring finger on his left hand and didn't appera in either the second or third quarters. He came in for three minutes in the fourth quarter, but finished with just two rebounds, no blocks and no points.