James Harden has 27 points, 12 assists in dream debut for 76ers


That couldn’t have gone much better.

James Harden scored 27 points on 7-of-12 shooting, he was 5-of-7 from 3, got to the line nine times, and dished out 12 assists in a 133-102 76ers rout of the Timberwolves Friday night. Harden fit well with center Joel Embiid — who rolled out of the pick a few times — and the center added 34 points and 10 boards on the night.

“That was probably the most wide open I’ve ever been in my career,” Embiid said in his walk-off interview.

Harden had all the usual tricks going. He was driving and drawing fouls on his way to the rim.

He was draining stepbacks.

And Harden was making smart passes.

This is the part where the sober guy shows up to the party and is a buzzkill. It was just one game against a Timberwolves team on the second night of a back-to-back. The Timberwolves couldn’t pose the defensive questions the Sixers will have to answer at some point. Plus, everything was falling; it’s not going to be like that every night.

Still, this was vintage James Harden, a guy we have not seen much of this season in Brooklyn. He and Embiid looked like they have played together for years — and MVP Embiid didn’t miss a step. Doc Rivers’ lineups all looked good.

Maybe it’s just one game, but it couldn’t have been a better one for the 76ers.