To be honest, it wasn't a game the Sixers were expected to win, even with Joel Embiid in the lineup. It was a bad spot finishing up a road trip at the Utah Jazz.
And then when Embiid was a late scratch due to back tightness, the expectations really softened.
But the Sixers fought hard, specifically Ben Simmons, who dropped a career-high 42 points to go along with 12 assists, nine rebounds, one steal, and one block on 15-26 shooting and 12-13 from the line in an 11-point loss to the NBA's best team.
After the game, Simmons admitted he's been working on the mental part of this game.
"Honestly, I've been working on my mentality, my mental [game], a lot these past few weeks," Simmons said via ESPN.com. "I think my mindset ... it's not easy to do that, to change the way you play or certain things in the game that come natural to certain people.
"I feel like I'm figuring it out. Obviously, my scoring has been a lot higher the past five, six games. So as long as I can keep doing that and stay locked in and keep working on my mental [game], I think it's scary."
After a slow start to the season, Simmons is now right on his gaudy career averages for the season: 15.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 8.0 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 3.4 TOPG, 56.3 eFG%, 66.7 FT% (improved), and 33.4 MPG.
The Sixers, despite three straight losses, are 18-10, first in the East. Now, they return home for two straight against the Rockets and Bulls on Wednesday and Friday.