Throughout the playoffs — actually, since they first traded for him back at the deadline — the 76ers have been waiting for Houston James Harden to show up. Instead, he had only appeared in flashes.
Houston Harden showed up in Game 4, scoring 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, shooting 6-of-10 from 3 and getting to the free throw line 10 times.
“Nothing really changed. I just made shots,” Harden said, via the Associated Press.
It’s more than simply knocking down a few shots, he has played much better since the return of Joel Embiid, and the big man added 24 points and 11 rebounds on Sunday. The 76ers were focused early on getting the ball deep to Embiid trying to take advantage of switches, which later opened up other parts of the offense.
Behind Harden the 76ers pulled away late and got the 116-108 Game 4 win at home, tying the series up at 2-2. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Miami.
Of bigger concern going home to Miami is Kyle Lowry‘s status and hamstring. He limped off the court and went to the locker room, and while he came back and played more, he was clearly slowed by it. Eric Spoelstra said he was unsure if Lowry would be able to play in Game 5.
Lowry on how limiting his hamstring injury is: "Put it this way, you don't want to play with it." https://t.co/aIxj6j3gjj
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) May 9, 2022
The good news for Miami is they are heading home. Once there, someone will have to step up and help Jimmy Butler, who has scored 73 points over the two losses in Philadelphia but has not had near enough help.
How does Philadelphia carry this momentum down to South Beach?
“Joel’s going to be able to play,” coach Doc Rivers said.
Through two games, Embiid has changed this series.