It brought a familiar scene to James Harden when the 76ers survived the heat of the 99-90 heat at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday evening to survive the last-second clock.
The Philadelphia season was about to begin. With the win needed to keep the championship hopes alive, Harden failed to show up as a 10-time all-star that many thought would be the biggest moment of the season.
The 32-year-old scored 11 points in the game with just two shots in the second half. His last field goal came at 3:31 to play in the second quarter.
After the game, when Harden was asked why he played such a small part in the second half, his answer was quite simple.
“We committed our crime and the ball didn’t come back to me,” Harden said.
Harden’s struggles in this year’s playoffs are once again under a big microscope. Daryl Morey, president of the 76ers team, held several months of trading to get Ben Simmons to the net to get Harden and compete for the NBA title.
However, apart from his 30-point performance in Game 4, Harden did not deliver in the clutch. Despite the excellent performance, the 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said Harden’s season and performance was not the only reason the team was eliminated in the second round. “We win and lose as a team,” Reverse said in a post-game news conference.