Without Joel Embiid on the court for the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, Sixers starting guard Ben Simmons took matters into his own hands offensively. Typically, the Sixers rely on Joel Embiid to sniff 40 points in an outing and lead the offense.
But Simmons was the one who dropped a career-high of 42 points on Monday night against the Western Conference's top team, the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately for Simmons and the Sixers, his total effort wasn't enough.
Utah's backup guard Jordan Clarkson surely has something to do with that. While Sixers fans ranted and raved about Simmons' 40-plus night, rightfully so. Jazz fans also got to cheer for one of their own in Clarkson as he hung 40 points on the Sixers.
Simmons' distribution of points came inside the paint, as expected. Clarkson's way of racking up his points came from beyond-the-arc. Early on, Clarkson caught fire as he knocked down four three-pointers in the first half. Typically, when players start hot like that from beyond, they tend to cool off a bit.
However, Clarkson did not. And there was a point late in the game when cameras caught Sixers' second-year guard Matisse Thybulle in shock as Clarkson drained yet, another deep shot to increase the Jazz's lead over the Sixers.
We were all Matisse Thybulle on Monday night as Clarkson just couldn't miss. By the end of the night, the Jazz guard had knocked down over 60-percent of his shots from beyond-the-arc on 13 attempts. He accounted for 40 of the Jazz's 134 total points.
While Simmons's 42 points and Tobias Harris's 36 points were nothing to be overlooked by Clarkson and the Jazz, the rest of the 76ers couldn't offer much help to the two All-Star hopefuls.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_