76ers Achieve 121-107 Victory Over Harden’s Clippers

James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA News, Philadelphia 76ers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers clinched a 121-107 victory against James Harden and the Los Angeles Clippers during Sunday’s NBA action. Tobias Harris scored 24 points, and Tyrese Maxey, who scored 19 of his 24 points after the break, provided a standout second-half performance.

The win marks a significant moment as Harden faced his former team for the first time since his departure from Philadelphia.

Despite a challenging night with 0 for 6 on 3-pointers amid jeers from Sixers fans, Harden received praise from his former teammates.

“James is a hell of a player, and I always have a huge amount of respect for him,” Harris remarked. “It’s all love and respect. He’s a Hall of Fame player, and for me, it was an honor being here playing with him. To see him on the other side happy and enjoying what he’s doing, that’s really what the game is all about.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Cameron Payne also shone brightly with a season-high 23 points, contributing to the Sixers’ robust performance, including 18 3-pointers. This victory comes as a bounce-back from a recent loss to the Lakers and represents only their fourth win in the last 11 games.

The Sixers initially lost their 17-point lead but seized control with a decisive 15-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter, largely driven by Maxey’s energized play.

“We finally put two halves together, and it felt good,” Payne said. “Shots were falling. Everybody came locked in today. Shots were falling, and everybody played the right way.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Despite 20 points from Kawhi Leonard and 18 from Paul George, the Clippers struggled to counter the Sixers’ offensive prowess, especially from beyond the arc. Clippers coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged the need for improvement heading into the playoffs, expressing confidence in the team’s potential despite recent struggles.

“We know we’ve got to play better basketball going into the playoffs, or it’s going to be an early season,” Lue said. “Still got full confidence in this team and full confidence in what we can do. It’s just (about) going out and doing it every single night – not 26 minutes, (but) 48 minutes of doing the right things.”

Harden’s tenure with the Sixers, marked by leading the NBA in assists last season and contributing to Joel Embiid‘s MVP-caliber year, ended with his trade to the Clippers after he requested a departure and criticized Sixers president of basketball operations Darryl Morey.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

As Harden excels with the Clippers, averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 assists, the anticipation for the upcoming rematch in Philadelphia looms large, with both teams downplaying the significance of the reunion.

“I didn’t really hear any, ‘Oh, we’re playing (Harden), we’re playing (the Clippers),’” said Payne, who joined the Sixers last month. “I feel like we just handled our business, and it showed on the court.”

With the 76ers set to face Sacramento next and the Clippers hosting Indiana, both teams are gearing up for their next challenges in the season, carrying lessons and moments from Sunday’s clash.

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