LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE
Harden leads Sixers to victory
The Philadelphia 76ers have been on a roller coaster ride this season, but they were able to get a much-needed win on Sunday evening against the Celtics in overtime. This win was largely due to James Harden, who stepped up in a big way and scored 42 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, six of nine from three, and four steals.
His performance was the difference maker in a game that was back and forth for much of the night. The Sixers were able to get out to a lead early and maintain it for the majority of the game, but the Celtics made a late push to tie the game up and send it to overtime.
In the fourth quarter, the Sixers looked like they were getting a bit tight and Joel Embiid had 34 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists, but seemed to be exhausted from playing so many minutes.
The Sixers were also helped by the contributions of Maxey, who had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Niang, who hit three threes for nine points. PJ Tucker provided leadership and made a big play to tie the game up late in regulation.
Tobias Harris had a poor game with nine points and seven rebounds, while Melton and Paul Reed did very little.
On the Celtics side, Jalen Brown had a great first half but only finished with 23 points and five assists. Jason Tatum had a poor first half, but finished with 24 points, 18 rebounds, and six assists. Al Horford had a nice game with 10.7 rebounds and four assists, but it was Marcus Smart who almost won the game with his 21.7 assists.
The Sixers were able to survive and advance thanks to their leader, James Harden. His performance was the difference maker and he was able to come through in the clutch when the Sixers needed it the most. He was able to carry the team to victory and it will be interesting to see if he can continue this type of performance for the remainder of the series.
Celtics better than Sixers
However, the Celtics are a better team than the Sixers. They have more good players and it showed in the statistics. The Celtics had nine steals to the Sixers’ three, 12 blocks to the Sixers’ three, and 22 fast break points to the Sixers’ nine. The Celtics also have the advantage of playing the next game at home, which could be the difference maker.
The Sixers will need to be lucky and have the Celtics have a bad shooting night or come out a bit flat in order to win. They need to make sure that every possession counts and that they capitalize on every opportunity. If the Sixers are able to do this, then they could potentially pull off the upset.
Overall, the Celtics have the upper hand in this series. However, the Sixers have a chance to win if they can pull off some lucky breaks and play to their full potential. It will be interesting to see how the series plays out and if the Sixers can make a Cinderella run to the championship.