By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Sixers would wrap up their four-game Western Conference trip on Monday night, facing off against the red-hot Utah Jazz. On top of having to face off against the top team in the Western Conference, they would do so without the services of Joel Embiid. He would be a late scratch in this game due to back tightness.
Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris would do their best to lead the charge without Embiid, but it would just not be enough. In the end, the Sixers would fall to the Jazz by a final score of 134-123.
Someone would have to set the tone for the Sixers without Embiid in the lineup, and Ben Simmons would do just that. He would come out and score 19 points in the first quarter en route to finishing the game with a new career-high.
Simmons would get it done on both ends of the floor for the Sixers, but it would not be enough to combat the Jazz's offense. He would go on to end the game with 42 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists, one steal, and one block.
The key thing that stood out about Simmons' dominant performance was his efficiency. He would knock down 15 of his 26 shot attempts, and convert 12 of his 13 free-throws.
Sadly this incredible showing would result in a losing effort, but seeing Simmons step up and assert himself like this without Embiid is a great sign for him moving forward.
Tobias Harris would play his part in leading the charge offensively with Simmons. He would also erupt offensively, racking up 36 points on an impressive 14-24 shooting. Along with his scoring, Harris would also come down with 10 rebounds, dish two assists, and grab two steals.
Bench scoring and three-point shooting would be the Achilles heel for the Sixers for the second straight game. The Sixers' bench continues to struggle to create offense in the absence of Shake Milton. Utah's bench would outscore the Sixers 57-25 in this one, with 40 of those points coming from Jordan Clarkson.
The Sixers would attempt slightly more threes than they did against the Suns over the weekend, but still not enough to hang around in the game. Clarkson's eight made threes would make the amount the Sixers would make as a team.
Trading threes with two against the Jazz all night would prove to be costly. Once Utah's shooters found the range from deep, it became near impossible for the Sixers to claw back into the game.
This road trip has shown a lot of key areas of improvement for the Sixers going forward. Luckily for them, these issues can be fixed somewhat easily.
Despite going 1-3 on this road trip the Sixers still hold on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Looking ahead, they will be back in action on their home floor on Wednesday night to host John Wall and the Houston Rockets.