James Harden grateful, blessed to tie Sixers’ assists record in a win over Clippers


Photo: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers rolled past the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, spoiling the road team’s early 20-point deficit en route to their seventh-straight dub.

The Sixers were led by Joel Embiid’s scoring display, posting up a dominant 44 points in the 119-114 win. As such, this won’t be possible without James Harden’s historic night as one of the game’s assists machines.

Harden channeled his playmaking mastery against the Clippers, being responsible for the team’s balanced attack wherein four other players besides him and Embiid had double-digit numbers in scoring. He ended the night with a monstrous triple-double of 20 points and 11 boards with a career-high 21 assists.

This 21 dimes he dished out ties the Sixers’ franchise record for assists in a single game, joining team legends in Wilt Chamberlain (1968) and Maurice Cheeks (1982). With one assist away from breaking the record mark, Harden made a joke about his teammates.

“I wish somebody would’ve told me that! I would’ve tried to get 22!” Harden joked after the win, per USA TODAY’s Ky Carlin. “I’m pissed at one of my teammates for missing a layup or an easy shot. Nah, I’m playing.”

As such, he can only reflect on the major accomplishment he made, considering his connection with other legends as “blessings” in terms of league and franchise records.

“That’s rare company,” Harden said. “Mo Cheeks was one of my coaches in OKC and then Wilt, I feel like he has every record. 

“Just always and be in the conversation of some of the best basketball players to touch a basketball is a blessing. Hopefully, I can keep going and get more records.”

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