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Sixers Bell Ringer: Utah’s blizzard of 3s spoils Ben Simmons’ career night

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 12
Tobias Harris - 5
Ben Simmons - 4
Shake Milton - 3
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1

Joel Embiid was a late scratch for this game due to back tightness, so naturally, the Sixers shot 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) in the first quarter on their way to 42 points. However, that lead had evaporated by the five-minute mark of the second quarter, as Utah proved empirically that three is greater than two, knocking down 18 3s on the game to Philadelphia’s eight — a 30-point gap from behind the arc. Led by Jordan Clarkson’s eight 3s and 40 points, Utah held off a feisty Sixers team that made it a two-possession game for a good chunk of the fourth quarter, and ultimately defeated Philadelphia, 134-123. Let’s talk Bell Ringer.

Ben Simmons: 42 points, 9 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Wow. There’s aggressive Ben Simmons, and then there’s what we saw from Ben Monday night, which I would equate to the gap between Super Saiyan 2 and 3. His first quarter was a true spectacle, as he dropped 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting, plus five assists. It was easily a career-high for a quarter for Ben, and a unique feat across NBA history.

The Jazz opted to use centers Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors to guard Simmons, and with Ben practically at the 5 on offense in the minutes Mike Scott was out there, he had wide-open runways to charge downhill and attack the basket. And attack he did, with short bank shots, lay-ins, floaters, and hooks. Simmons tied his previous career-high of 34 points in the third quarter, and eventually joined Allen Iverson and Embiid as the only Sixers to score at least 40 points this millennium. Remarkably, in addition to his 15-of-26 shooting line, Simmons shot 12-of-13 from the foul line as well; he is now up to 63.9 percent at the line for the year, continuing to improve each year of his career in that department.

Post-game, Ben discussed his need to mentally focus in on constantly attacking and how he feels like he’s improved in that area in recent weeks. Sorry, other Eastern Conference fringe All-Star hopefuls, somebody has set his sights on looking down a spot.

Tobias Harris: 36 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 0 turnovers

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

With the scoring totals of Simmons and Clarkson soaking up a lot of the conversational oxygen, Tobias had one of the quietest 36-point games you’ll ever see. As usual, he was incredibly efficient, shooting 14-of-24 from the floor, 3-of-5 from 3, and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Like Ben, Harris started off hot, recording 14 points in the first quarter, a mark which was also his season-best for a quarter. Tobi had some very confident plays as the pick-and-roll ball-handler, unreservedly pulling up for the jumper as soon as the open look presented itself. He also made a number of strong drives, bouncing off defenders and making rollicking spin moves on his way to the rim. The Sixers’ non-Joel All-Star hopefuls both certainly made their case in Utah.

Dwight Howard: 14 points, 12 rebounds, 1 block, 1 turnover

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Utah Jazz Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight played arguably his best game as a Sixer, with the 14 points representing a season-high for the big man. Howard was relentless on the offensive glass, collecting six offensive boards, and shot a respectable 4-of-6 from the foul line. He also didn’t try to do too much with the dribble, and didn’t commit moving screens and then look to the ref as though the concept was foreign to him. He stayed committed to going after loose balls with as much energy as he could muster and played a pretty disciplined game otherwise — great stuff!

We also learned after the game that Howard had a death in the family and Doc Rivers didn’t even expect him to play, but Dwight wanted to get out there. Tremendous effort by Dwight under what I’m sure were terrible circumstances for him.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the loss to Utah?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Ben Simmons
    (1436 votes)
  • 1%
    Tobias Harris
    (26 votes)
  • 2%
    Dwight Howard
    (37 votes)
1499 votes total Vote Now