James Harden reflects on his Philadelphia 76ers playoff debut
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James Harden made his Philadelphia 76ers playoff debut on Saturday and it went well as Harden delivered a good performance and the 76ers beat the Toronto Raptors in Game of their first round series. Harden had a double-double in the 76ers' 131-111 victory as he scored 22 points and dished out 14 assists.
Harden played well but it was another 76ers guard that stole the show as Tyrese Maxey exploded for 38 points. "He's running, and you got to reward him," Harden said of Maxey. "He's a great finisher. He makes the right play.
So just trying to try to get him to keep going." The 76ers claimed a blowout victory in Game 1 and Harden was thrilled with the performance he and his teammates delivered. "It was a great game individually for some guys," Harden said.
"Then, for the team, things that we talked about this past week, rebounding the basketball, not turning the basketball over and giving them opportunities, I think we did a good job of that tonight."
Harden and Co. got the job done
Joel Embiid didn't have a big night as he scored just 19 points but he contributed in other ways as he had 15 rebounds and four assists.
Embiid shot just 5-of-15 from the field. "I mean, it starts really with me," Embiid said. "Not getting frustrated. I kind of invited the double and triple teams they kept sending at me all night. Just trying to make the right play, whatever is going to get us the win.
I said it. Having played against them for so long, especially the same coach, I kind of know how they think and how they want to play, especially defensively, so I think it's all about me keep making the right plays over and over and over, and I thought tonight I was pretty good." Meanwhile, Maxey earned a praise from Tobias Harris and head coach Doc Rivers.
"Tyrese is great," Harris said. "He has game and he works his butt off. "I mean, he gets it. He understands that you put the work in and great things happen for you tonight. You know, tonight was a testament to that." "His speed is a factor," 76ers coach Rivers said.
"We know that we have to keep using him in space. Some nights, maybe he'll drive to pass. Tonight, it was him driving and getting to the basket and making shots."