Yesterday, I woke up I was in my bag. Im in it so more today! pic.twitter.com/a1ICawDWtg
— James Harden (@JHarden13) December 10, 2022
Harden, who has missed a good chunk of the season so far due to injury, was playing in his second game since returning to the lineup. The 10-time All-Star finished the game with 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting, four rebounds, 12 assists and two steals.
Harden really took over the game in overtime, scoring nine of Philly’s 13 points in the extra period. The Sixers ended up outscoring Los Angeles 13-2 in overtime to win by 11.
A deep dive into James Harden’s past few seasons
The last few seasons haven’t exactly gone the way that Harden may have expected them to, as he missed time during the 2020-21 season due to a nagging hamstring injury. The following season, Harden ended up forcing his way out of Brooklyn prior to the trade deadline.
Now in his first full season with the Sixers, Harden is looking to establish a chemistry with Joel Embiid and hopefully make a run at an NBA title this season. Harden has played in one NBA Finals in his career, but it came back when he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The win on Friday night moved the Sixers back over. 500 on the season at 13-12. The Lakers, who looked to be turning things around, have now lost three straight games to fall to 10-15 on the season.
Harden wasn’t the only player that gave Los Angeles trouble on Friday night, as Embiid scored 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the win. Guard De’Anthony Melton, who has seen an increased role with Harden and Tyrese Maxey dealing with injuries, scored 33 points as well for Philly.
It’s a frustrating loss for the Lakers, especially after the team erased a 10-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.
For Harden, it seems like he’s starting to feel like his old self again with the Sixers. This season, the three-time scoring champ is averaging 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 9.9 assists per game while shooting 42.0 percent from the field.
Harden certainly could improve on his efficiency, but he’s been an All-Star caliber player when healthy this season.
The Lakers and Sixers will play one more time this season on Jan. 15, 2023 in Los Angeles.