Embiid labels new-look 76ers as 'unstoppable' after Harden triple-double

By Sports Desk February 27, 2022

Joel Embiid is feeling good about the new-look Philadelphia 76ers labelling his partnership with James Harden as "unstoppable" after Sunday's 125-109 win over the New York Knicks.

In Harden's second game for the 76ers since his trade from the Brooklyn Nets, the 2018 MVP recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.

Embiid added a game-high 37 points with nine rebounds and four blocks, as the 76ers put on 125 or more points for the second straight game.

"Unstoppable," Embiid said after the game. "What are you really going to do?

"He's a great passer, and obviously I've got someone [next to me] that attracts a lot of attention to him, so you've got to make a decision. Do you stay on me, or do you stay on him?

"And if you want to guard both of us with the other guys, now you've got Matisse [Thybulle] diving to the rim or wide-open shooters that have got one job to do, and that's make shots. That's all we got to keep doing.

"Like I was saying in the locker room, I'm happy I don't have to post up every single possession, so it's great."

The Knicks had no answer for the pair, with Embiid getting to the stripe 27 times, making 23 free-throws, while Harden made 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.

"That's our job every single night, is to put pressure on that rim," Harden said. "That creates opportunities for ourselves and our teammates.

"There's a lot of opportunities Joel had with and-ones where he just didn't convert, but that pressure night-in and night-out consistently is going to be tough for teams to cover."

In another ominous sign for the 76ers, who improve to 37-23, Harden said he was feeling the best he has physically for a long time, having endured hamstring issues during his time with the Nets.

"I feel good. It's my second game in damn near a month, but just my body feels great," Harden said. "Feels great. I haven't felt this way in a really, really long time.

"So just my pop, me getting to the rim, my extra step, feels really great. So just got to continue to work, continue to build my body and legs and keep pushing."

Related items

  • Cavaliers fire Bickerstaff as coach Cavaliers fire Bickerstaff as coach

    The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first play-off series in six years earlier this month.

    That wasn't enough, however, for J.B. Bickerstaff to keep his job as the team's coach.

    The Cavaliers decided to dismiss Bickerstaff from his position on Thursday, according to a statement made by the team.

    Since taking over for John Beilein in 2020, Bickerstaff went 170-159 in five seasons with Cleveland and led the franchise to the play-offs each of the last two years.

     

    In 2023-24, Bickerstaff helped direct Cleveland to a 48-34 record and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference play-offs.

    The Cavs then beat the Orlando Magic in the first round for the franchise's first play-off series win since the team lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals. It also marked Cleveland's first trip to the conference semi-finals without LeBron James on the roster since 1992-93.

    The Cavs' season ended in the conference semis, where they lost to the NBA-best Boston Celtics in five games.

    Bickerstaff's team, however, was significantly undermanned with five-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell missing the final two games against the Celtics with a left calf strain and fellow All-Star Jarrett Allen missing the last eight play-off games due to a right rib contusion.

    "J.B. is a well-respected NBA coach and an incredible human-being," Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman said in a statement. "Over the past four years, he helped establish a culture that progressively drove players to become the best versions of themselves. Decisions like these are never easy, particularly when you look back at where this franchise rebuild started under his leadership. The NBA is a unique business that sometimes requires aggressive risk-taking to move a franchise forward and ultimately compete for championships. We owe a ton of gratitude for everything J.B. has contributed to the Cavaliers and his engagement in the Cleveland community. We wish J.B., his wife Nikki and their three children the best in their future endeavours."

  • Finch bemoans Timberwolves' failure to see out win against Mavericks Finch bemoans Timberwolves' failure to see out win against Mavericks

    Chris Finch lamented the Minnesota Timberwolves’ lack of composure in their Western Conference finals Game 1 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks.

    The Timberwolves lost 108-105 on the road on Wednesday, failing to hold onto their lead in the final four minutes.

    Minnesota sank just 11 of 18 from the free-throw line and committed five turnovers in the final frame, allowing Dallas to complete a late turnaround. 

    Asked what the biggest problem was for his side in a tight contest, Finch said: "No composure.

    "We haven't really closed quarters very well, closed halves very well over the last handful of games.

    "It cost us a game in the Denver series. It certainly had an impact on this game tonight, too. We've got to be better in clutch moments."

    Mike Conley echoed his coach’s thoughts and believes the Timberwolves can use this as a learning curve.

    "I think we haven't been tested like this where we've had to trade basket to basket, late-game free throw situations or fouling situations, stuff that we have to be better at," Conley said.

    "But we'll learn from it. I think each game we've learned a lot about ourselves, a lot we can get better at. Obviously, it's going to be a long series, regardless of what happened tonight."

    Meanwhile, Luka Doncic starred for Dallas once again, scoring 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help them over the line to a Game 1 victory.

    The Slovenian admits that the Mavericks wanted to make a statement by winning at home.

    "We had to work really hard to get this one," said Doncic.

    "I think we're known for losing game ones, so we were trying to make a point. But it's only one and we have three more [wins] to go."

  • NBA: Mavericks finish strong in Game 1 road win over Timberwolves NBA: Mavericks finish strong in Game 1 road win over Timberwolves

    Luka Dončić scored 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Kyrie Irving added 30 points as the Dallas Mavericks edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-105 on the road in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night.

    Dallas trailed 102-98 after Anthony Edwards’ 3-pointer with 3:37 remaining but scored the next eight points- five from Doncic - before the Timberwolves scored on a tip-in with 10.5 seconds to play.

    Game 2 is Friday night in Minnesota.

    Jaden McDaniels had his third straight 20-plus point game with 24 points for Minnesota and Edwards, who went scoreless in the third quarter, had 19 on 6-of-16 shooting with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Karl-Anthony Towns needed a late burst to get to 16 points and finished 6 for 20 from the field.

    The Timberwolves hit 18 3-pointers to just six for the Mavericks but were outscored 62-38 in the paint and sank just 11 of 18 from the free throw line.

    P.J. Washington hit a huge 3 during Dallas’ late deciding run and finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Irving effectively sealed the win with a pair of free throws with seven seconds left. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.