James Harden Had His Best Game Of The Playoffs To Lead The Sixers To A Game 4 Win Over Miami

Share - Shperndaje

james harden

The return of Joel Embiid to the Sixers lineup reinvigorated the team in Game 3 as they swiped their first win of the series against the Heat on Friday night with a dominant defensive performance, but Game 4 saw maybe an even more important development in Philadelphia, as James Harden came to life for a full game for really the first time this postseason.

In the first quarter, it was the Joel Embiid show for Philly, as he scored 15 in the opening period in what was clearly a concerted effort to get the big man going after a relatively quiet series debut offensively in Game 3.

Bam Adebayo had the answer on the other end, though, as Miami hung tough for most of the first half thanks to strong play inside from he and Jimmy Butler.

However, the Sixers would pull ahead to an 8-point lead at the break, thanks to another strong second quarter from James Harden, as that has been his best quarter in each game so far this series. The issue for Harden has been sustaining that effort, as the second halves have been disasters through three games of this series for him, but he finally put together a complete game in Game 4 with 31 points on 18 shots, including a 6-of-10 night from three-point range, stepping up in a huge way for the Sixers.

While Harden had 31, he was not the high point man of the evening, as that title belonged to Jimmy Butler who kept the Heat in the game in the second half through sheer force of will, scoring 40 on the night, despite his teammates being unable to knock down a three-point shot to save their lives.

Butler’s effort kept the Heat within four at the break — which apparently wasn’t exciting enough to keep everyone seated courtside awake — but in the fourth quarter James Harden came alive to stretch the lead back out to double figures with haste.

Miami wouldn’t go away, though, as Butler and Adebayo continued to keep them within striking distance, but the shots simply would not fall for the Heat, who finished the game 7-of-35 from three-point range, to allow them to reel in the Sixers. On the other side, Harden stayed hot late, putting the daggers in the Heat every time they made a push to get the game within a couple of possessions, scoring 16 in the final quarter of play.

It was the exact type of performance the Sixers have been waiting for from Harden, as he was able to finally find some success going downhill despite still clearly not having the burst of old off his first step, but more importantly the perimeter shot started falling, which he’s struggled to consistently hit so far. With Embiid steadily rounding into form (24 points and 11 rebounds in this one), Harden finding anything approaching his shooting form of old would flip this series on its head, as the Sixers would have the ideal version of their offensive trio, with Tyrese Maxey providing additional shooting and creation, as well as the pace they otherwise lack in transition.

For Miami, they’ll have to hope that Harden’s shooting night in Game 4 was a mirage, because they have their own issues to worry about offensively. Going home should help their “others” find the bottom of the net more, but Kyle Lowry’s hamstring injury is clearly still bothering him and his ineffectiveness on the offensive end because of that really puts a ton of pressure on Butler, who was as good as you could hope for and they still came up short.

We’ll see whether the Sixers can travel these good vibes with them to Miami or not on Tuesday night when they play a pivotal Game 5, but they have to feel significantly better about their position in this series than they did a few days ago.

Source: https://uproxx.com/dimemag/james-harden-sixers-heat-game-4-video-highlights-butler-embiid/

Share - Shperndaje

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker! Faqja jonë e internetit mundësohet duke shfaqur reklama online për vizitorët tanë. Ju lutemi, konsideroni të na mbështesni duke çaktivizuar bllokuesin tuaj të reklamave.

Refresh Page