When the final seconds started the clock at the Wells Fargo Center in the 76ers ’99-90 loss against the Heat on Thursday night, it brought a familiar scene for James Harden.
The Philadelphia weather is on the line. Needing a win to keep championship hopes alive, Harden failed to appear as the 10-time All-Star that many thought would make him the biggest time of the season.
The 32-year-old finished with 11 points in the game, attempting just two shots in the second half. The last field goal he converted came with a time of 3:31 in the second quarter.
After the game, when Harden was asked why he played a small part on offense in the second half, his answer was simple.
“We ran our offense, and the ball didn’t come back to me,” Harden said.
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Harden’s struggles throughout this year’s playoffs are once again under the big microscope. Daryl Morey, the president of the 76ers team, spent months orchestrating a trade to send Ben Simmons to the Nets to get Harden and compete for an NBA title.
However, other than his 30 points scored in Game 4, Harden didn’t give up the clutch. Despite the subpar performance, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said Harden’s season and performance weren’t the only reason the team was eliminated in the second round. “We win and lose as a team,” Rivers told a postgame news conference.
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