PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers spoiled the chance to properly celebrate the 40th anniversary of their most recent title by losing to the Chicago Bulls. The Sixers offense looked stuck in mud despite 37 points from Joel Embiid and 22 points from Tyrese Maxey. One of the main reasons for the team’s failures was a woeful game from James Harden.
Harden played one of the worst games of his career, posting as many points as turnovers with five apiece on 2-14 shooting. He had missed the Sixers’ last game due to injury management and missed a game last week with left foot soreness and while that doesn’t necessarily explain his poor showing, it may now be something to monitor more seriously going forward.
After the game, Harden sought out the head athletic trainer and wasn’t moving around the locker room well, as noted by Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice. Doc Rivers said that Harden wasn’t at 100 percent when he spoke to reporters at the podium.
“He just didn’t play well. I don’t think it’s them, at least not tonight,” Rivers said when asked if he thinks the Bulls are a particularly bad matchup for Harden. “I thought he was hurting a little bit.” The Sixers head coach clarified that the source of discomfort was his foot.
James Harden missed 14 games earlier in the season with a right foot tendon strain and now is dealing with an issue in his other foot. While he was able to play down the stretch for the Sixers, the team has to play it safe as they begin another road trip. The veteran star’s health is of the utmost importance as the playoffs continue to approach.