James Harden Elevates 76ers to 'Finals Threat' with Standout Game 4 vs. HeatMay 9, 2022
It looked as if the Miami Heat were going to cruise to the Eastern Conference Finals when they won the first two games of their second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers by double digits.
Not so much anymore.
With Joel Embiid back on the floor for the second straight contest, the 76ers evened the series at two apiece with a 116-108 victory in Sunday's Game 4. While Embiid's return from an orbital fracture helped swing the series, the MVP version of James Harden that was on display as he stuffed the stat sheet with 31 points, nine assists and seven rebounds makes the 76ers a "Finals threat."
Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith
Now this is the <a href="https://twitter.com/JHarden13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JHarden13</a> we’ve been waiting for. Especially the <a href="https://twitter.com/sixers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sixers</a>’ fans. This is what we were talking about. Harden is making contested shots, he’s being aggressive and looking for this. This is the <a href="https://twitter.com/JHarden13?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JHarden13</a> that can help them to the Finals.
Harden started the game as a facilitator who was able to get to the free-throw line, but he took over right as it seemed as if the Heat would make a late charge.
The Beard made four three-pointers in the final 10 minutes while mixing in some vintage step-backs to keep Miami at bay. It was necessary because Jimmy Butler was doing everything he could to overcome the Heat's putrid 7-of-35 mark from downtown on his way to 40 points.
Embiid is still the MVP candidate from this season and played well in Game 4, but Philadelphia needs another game-changer if it is going to eliminate the top-seeded Heat.
If Game 4 Harden shows up for Tuesday's Game 5, Miami may be in trouble.