A near triple-double performance by Harden helped to end the bitter start of the season for the Philadelphia 76ers as they defeated rebuilding Indiana Pacers 120-106. Follow for more NBA James Harden stories and updates here!
James Harden continued his strong start of the season by scoring 29 points and 11 assists, with the help of Joel Embiid’s 26 points to guide Philadelphia 76ers back to the win column. This is a three point shooting night for the sixers. In the first quarter, six players from the Philadelphia 76ers hit one 3 pointer each, while Tobias Harris eased the pressure for Harden and Embiid to score 18 points. For pro basketball reference, click here!
On the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton led the team with 19 points and 10 assists – he also got help from Buddy Hield who scored 18 points.
This season, Joel Embiid’s condition to play on his natural level is not yet clear, he still needed a lot of time to get back on track as he continued to battle a pain under the heel and foot. The All-Star center expresses that he needed some time and “trying to work my way back.”
Head Coach Doc Rivers gave credits to his players as they put in a lot of effort by following the play and trusting each other to get the first win for the team, “It’s how we have to play every night,” Rivers said. “We have to be consistent in it. The spacing was right. The execution in the first half was really good out of timeouts. But (it was more about) the right spirit of the pass.”
Despite losing the first three games of this young season, the rotation of players, ball transitions and movements are quite excellent so far for the 76ers – giving bench players equal chances to have an action inside the field and to contribute for the team. Doc Rivers also made a smart move by putting Embiid into an unconventional playing time because of his conditions and still contributes well on their wins against the Pacers.
“Like I always say, I can’t win alone,” Embiid said. “I need to make sure my teammates feel good about themselves and that they can touch the ball and feel the ball. That’s going to make everybody happy, and that’s one of those nights where you’re 0-3 and trying to get a win and trying to get everybody involved.”
Doc Rivers clarified during a post-game interview that the Sixers still have to refine some mistakes and work on lacking areas to become the team that could make a statement in the eastern conference.
“We may go on a run. Even if we do, we’re not ready yet to be that team,’ he said. “It’s just going to take time.”
The Philadelphia 76ers will next face the Toronto Raptors in two straight games at ScotiaBank Arena in Toronto, Canada. Currently, Raptors have a 2-2 record, which is better than the Sixers (1-3).
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