Key Points: James Harden makes Sixers debut in Minneapolis, leads Sixers to victory
The Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota and earned their 36th win of the season on Friday night. The 76ers eliminated the Timberwolves 133-102 to improve to 36-23 overall this season. James Harden made his 76ers debut and looked like “Houston Rockets Harden” on the field. Harden scored 27 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. He knocked down 5 for 7 from the three-point line. Harden also grabbed eight rebounds and 12 assists in 35 minutes of play. Harden was on the court cooking and he talked about his team’s play and their great play after the game.
“We’re selfless, we just want to win,” Harden said. “We have guys, top to bottom, who feel that way on the pitch. Great things are going to happen more often than not. My job is to come in and add to every individual on that team.
Harden also spoke after the game about being accused of being a bad teammate. He also explained why he wanted this trade for the 76ers.
“I don’t know why,” Harden said. “It’s for the media. The media say so. I feel like one of the best teammates the NBA has seen, on and off the court.
“Just because the current situation happened, whatever happened, happened,” Harden said. “That doesn’t mean I’m a bad teammate. Me, personally, I feel like I needed to do what is best for my career, help myself and be happy. It’s not a question of whether I’m a bad teammate or not.
Joel Embiid also had a good game for the 76ers. Embiid scored 34 points on 10 of 18 shooting from the field. He knocked down 3 for 5 from the three-point line. Embiid grabbed 10 rebounds and also had three assists. Embiid spoke after the game about his new teammate, debuting James Harden.
“That’s what I expected,” Embiid said, smiling broadly as the two shared a press conference table after the game. “I’ve never been so open like that in my life. Seriously, the overtaking, like I wasn’t even expecting it and it was just coming.
The Philadelphia 76ers travel to New York to face the New York Knicks on Sunday, February 27. Tipping is at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/12:00 p.m. Central Madison Square Garden. The game will air nationally on ABC.