Joel Embiid hit a big game-winning shot against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. Coming off an assist from James Harden, the Philadelphia 76ers were able to secure the win 118-117.
The Jazz collapsed on defense in the final seconds of the game when Harden set up Embiid for a mid-range jumper. Walker Kessler and Nickeil Alexander-Walker assumed James was going to take the last shot.
James Harden broke down what went down in the Sixers’ final possession of the game. He simply took the screen from Joel Embiid and decided to attack the basket. But because Nickeil Alexander-Walker left Embiid open to help double-team Harden, the Sixers big man was left open. “The Beard” saw the opportunity and gave his duo a pretty pass to hit the game-winning shot.
“We just emptied the corner out,” Harden said. “Me, going to my left hand, downhill, I saw the big man come over a little bit. Joel was open…He made a comfortable shot. We’re gonna live with that every time.”
Both Embiid and Harden had dominant performances against Utah. The big man finished with 30 points, 7 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. While “The Beard” had a double-double outing with 31 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds.
Can Joel Embiid and James Harden lead the Philadelphia 76ers to the Finals?
It appears that Joel Embiid and James Harden are enjoying each other’s company in Philly. Harden looks like he’s having fun playing basketball again, while Embiid is taking advantage of the support he’s getting from “The Beard”.
The Sixers big man is having his best scoring season to date. He is currently averaging 33.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game.
Meanwhile, it seems like James Harden has embraced his role of being the second option. Despite that fact, Harden continues to put up All-Star performances, which helps the Philadelphia 76ers remain dominant in the East. “The Beard” is currently averaging 22.2 points, 11.1 assists, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.
Looking at the All-Star duo, they are both at their best when playing against each other. Joel Embiid is one of the league’s most dominant big men today. Having an impeccable guard like James Harden by his side is a huge help.
While Harden is known for his volume scoring, he’s also a great playmaker. The former MVP can easily make a play for Embiid, who is also an efficient finisher.
But is it enough to take them to the NBA Finals? Honestly, the Eastern Conference looks stacked at the moment. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been brilliant all season for the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have now found their rhythm as a duo. Then there’s Giannis Antetokoumpo, who remains a great player for the Milwaukee Bucks.
If Embiid and Harden can somehow manage to take out at least one of them in the playoffs, they could gain a lot of momentum heading into their playoff run.
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