Joel Embiid, Sixers praise James Harden for big debut in win over Wolves


MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.–The Philadelphia 76ers were able to come away with an impressive 133-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in the debut of James Harden. It was a big day for the franchise as they now have a legitimate superstar to pair up with Joel Embiid moving forward.

Harden had himself a big night scoring 27 points on 7-for-12 shooting, he was 5-for-7 from deep, he was 8-for-9 from the foul line, he had 12 assists, and he had eight rebounds in the win. It was an impressive night for somebody who hadn’t played in a game since Feb. 2 when he was still with the Brooklyn Nets.

Harden was able to take a lot of attention away from Embiid who was able to rumble his way to 34 points on 10-for-18 shooting and 10 rebounds.

“It’s what I expected,” said Embiid. “Two smart basketball players, we want to win, and we got great people around us whether it’s the coaching staff or our teammates. Yeah, that’s what I expected. I’ve never really been this wide-open in my life, seriously, the passes, I wasn’t even expecting it and it was just coming. We just gotta keep doing the same thing and get better every single day.”

This appears to be just the beginning for Embiid and Harden. The two of them looked like they will be able to continue to play off each other for a very long time and it’s something that should make the Sixers feel very good about themselves.

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“I thought they worked great together,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They played off each other, kinda picked their spots, we still—like, me—I have to kinda just keep watching and learning different things we can do.”

As far as his first time playing with Embiid, Harden was happy to be able to play with such a dominant big man.

“He makes the game so much easier for everybody on the court with him,” he said. “Obviously, we all know how great of a scorer he is inside and out, but he draws so much attention that we got spacing around the floor for him and he’s able to do whatever he wants.”

Tyrese Maxey, who benefitted a lot from playing with Harden on Friday, was able to see firsthand how The Beard can make things easier out on the floor.

“It was good, it was fun,” said Maxey. “What he does is amazing on the basketball court. I think he elevates everybody’s game to a higher level.”

Fun. If Friday is any indication, that is what the Sixers look like they can be with this new group.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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