Despite shooting just 5-28 in the previous two games of the series, in what was the most important game of the Sixers season, James Harden showed up big, dropping 42 points, including the decisive basket in the 76ers 116-115 win over the Celtics to even their Eastern Conference Semifinals series at two games apiece.
The two clunkers that Harden displayed in the previouss two contests fueled speculation that the bearded superstar’s dasys as an elite player could be a thing of the past, the lack of discipline off the court finally caught up with him.
Newly-minted MVP Joel Embiid scored 34 points but it was Harden’s expolits that would ultimately decide the day.
Harden has been a regular-season dynamo, but postseasons have not been kind to the former MVP, as he has come up short in both levels of play and results many times. In his first seasnin in Philly he was outright awful. He was throughly outplayed hos young backcout mate Tyrese Maxey and it got to the point whrer the viable question of could he be closer to retirement than redemption.
While Sunday’s performance in no way wipes away Harden’s extensive catalogue of postseason flameouts, He has reminded the basketball world, for at least one day, that his name is still worthy of respect to be placed on it.