JORDAN Clarkson helped the Utah Jazz overcome big nights by Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris while leading the NBA’s hottest team to a 134-123 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Salt Lake City on Monday night (Tuesday in Manila).
Clarkson came off the bench to score a team-high 40 points, two shy of his career-high and the most with the Jazz, to lift Utah to its eighth straight win and the 19th victory in 20 games in a matchup of the teams with the best records in the West and East.
Playing without Joel Embiid, a late scratch because of back tightness, the Sixers managed to make a competitive contest thanks to a near-triple-double effort by Simmons (42 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds) along with 36 points and 10 rebounds from Harris.
Harris scored five points in a row late in the fourth to cut the Jazz lead, once as big as 16 points, down to 113-109. But Donovan Mitchell made a driving score and then Clarkson hit three free throws and drained a 3-pointer during an 8-2 run for Utah.
In other games, it was the Nets 136, Kings 125; Warriors 129, Cavs 98; Bulls 120, Pacers 112; Wizards 131, Rockets 119; Knicks 123, Hawks 112; and Clippers 125, Heat 118.
Nets 136, Kings 125
Kyrie Irving established season bests of 40 points and nine 3-pointers and Brooklyn set a franchise record with 27 treys en route to a victory over host Sacramento.
James Harden made six 3-pointers while recording 29 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds as Brooklyn prevailed despite the absence of Kevin Durant (hamstring). The Nets, who attempted 47 treys, shot 57.4 percent from behind the arc and 57.3 percent overall.
Hassan Whiteside accumulated season bests of 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Kings, who lost their fourth consecutive contest. Cory Joseph added a season-best 22 points and Buddy Hield made six 3-pointers while scoring 21 points.