Sixers star James Harden explains his big 4th quarter in win over Heat

Sixers star James Harden explains his big 4th quarter in win over Heat

USA News

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers acquired James Harden for big moments like Sunday night. It was the fourth quarter of a critical Game 4 with the Miami Heat at home and Joel Embiid was on the bench to get his rest and they needed somebody to lead the way.

Harden stepped up in a big way as he scored 16 points in the fourth and knocked down four triples on six attempts. The Sixers were able to come away with a 116-108 win and tie the series at 2-2 before going back to Miami.

Harden finished with 31 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds on the night to lead the Sixers.

“Tie the series up and put them on their heels,” said Harden. “It’s pretty simple. I think just being aggressive, seeing who was out there defensively, and just try to get to the basket, and take the best shot available. I know if we didn’t turn the basketball over and rebound the basketball defensively, we had a good chance, and we did that in the fourth quarter.”

Harden was able to play his style of basketball in this one. He was knocking down the step-back triple and be able to be that explosive scorer that everybody has come to understand about him.

“It’s James being James, he played great,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I felt like he was going to have a big game tonight. I didn’t know 31 points, I didn’t know all the other stuff, but you can just sense it. Again, the points are great, but if he has 20 points, either way he does it, they’re all points for us, and we’re good with that.”

The fact that the Sixers were able to do what they were able to do with Embiid on the bench was huge in this one. A lot of credit has to go to Harden for stepping up when the time called for it.

“Just took what the defense gave me,” he finished. “It’s the same shots, just made some, nothing really changed, man. I just made some shots. Obviously, that’s a game-changer, but just being aggressive and that group that started the fourth quarter did a really good job of pushing the lead up and doing what we’re supposed to do.”

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