Simmons, Harris’ Huge Nights not Quite Enough in Utah

by Lauren Rosen

Facing the Utah Jazz (23-5), currently the best team in the NBA, was never going to be an easy task for the 76ers (18-10) - and it became a tougher one in the absence of Joel Embiid (back tightness).

But the Sixers were in the fight start to finish - leading by as many as 14, but ultimately falling, 134-123.

Ben Simmons scored a career-high 42 points and Tobias Harris hit a season-high 36, but the team’s struggles from deep (8-23 3PT) proved costly.

Utah excelled from long range, hitting 18 of its 45 3-point attempts. Jordan Clarkson led the way for the Jazz, finishing with 40 points on 13-for-20 shooting.

Key Contributors:

  • Ben Simmons

    • Simmons was a rebound shy of a 40-point triple-double, ultimately finishing with 42 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists, a steal, and a block. Simmons shot 15-for-26 from the floor, and 12-for-13 from the foul stripe.

    • Simmons scored 19 points in the first quarter alone, marking the highest-scoring quarter in his career. He shot a perfect 7-for-7 in the frame, plus a perfect 5-for-5 from the stripe. He also tallied three rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block in the first period.

    • Doc Rivers on Simmons:

      • “He did everything. He guarded, he played with pace.”

  • Tobias Harris

    • Harris finished with a season-high 36 points, plus 10 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. He shot 14-for-24 from the field, 3-for-5 from long range, and a perfect 5-for-5 from the foul stripe.

    • Doc Rivers on Harris:

      • “When he’s playing like that, he’s hard to deal with… He’s doing exactly what we believe he can do.”

  • Dwight Howard

    • Howard also scored a season-high, finishing with a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double. Six of his 12 rebounds were off the offensive glass. Howard shot 5-for-8 from the floor, and 4-for-6 from the foul line.

Quote to Note:

The mental game is everything.

Up Next:

The Sixers are headed back home for a pair of matchups with the Houston Rockets (11-16) Wednesday, and the Chicago Bulls (11-15) Friday.

The James Harden-less Rockets have lost their last six straight, most recently including a 131-119 loss to the Wizards Monday.

The Rockets are dealing with a wave of injuries, as new Rocket Victor Oladipo (foot) and Christian Wood (ankle) each missed Monday’s meeting. Oladipo has been out since Feb. 11, and Wood has been out since Feb. 4.

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