Doc Rivers has nothing but praises for James Harden, who took on a facilitator role on Tuesday to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to the crucial Game 5 win over the Boston Celtics.
Harden took a step back and allowed Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey to take the starring role in the contest. However, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t help at all. Instead, he played a complementary role to the two. The Beard finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists and two steals to fuel the Sixers to the dominant 115-103 victory over Jayson Tatum and co.
Rivers was definitely impressed by how Harden played and made the most of his role, particularly with the way he created plays for his teammates. His 10 dimes are the most in the showdown.
“I thought James was a magician tonight. He called a perfect game. He was aggressive early on, when he needed to be aggressive. And then he got everybody else involved,” Rivers shared, per team reporter Lauren Rosen.
James Harden has been pivotal for the Sixers in their playoff series with the Celtics. In their previous two wins, he took the lead and showcased his ability to score that many people may have forgotten. And then in Game 5, he proved to everyone that he can make a winning impact even if he doesn’t score a lot.
As Doc Rivers said it, if that isn’t the work of a magician, we don’t know what else to call it.
If Harden is able to keep the momentum going in Game 6, it’s not hard to see the Sixers moving on to the East Finals and maybe, just maybe, the NBA Finals.
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