The Bearded One poured in 31 points in the contest, most of which coming late in a crucial stretch that kept the Sixers ahead late. James Harden kept it simple when asked about the big-time display.
Via Tim Bontemps:
“I just made shots,” said the Sixers star.
With the Sixers holding a precarious 4-point lead and Joel Embiid seated on the bench entering the fourth quarter, Philly went on an 8-0 run to start capped off by Harden's patented step-back three from the top of the key, three of his 16 points in the final frame.
“That was the game right there,” Harden continued on the 8-0 run sans Embiid.
While Harden took the reins in Game 4, he knows it would hardly be possible without Sixers MVP Joel Embiid. But he knows that for them to play at their best, the peripheral stars around the All-NBA center need to step up and make shots, him included.
“He's the MVP of the league … It's difficult without Joel [Embiid] to win if you don't make shots. We didn't make shots the first two games. … But we still had that confidence going into Game 3 knowing that we can beat these guys. Obviously, bring Joel back was the X-Factor. … We have to put a full game together in Game 5 to be able to go out there and get a win.
James Harden calls Joel Embiid the "MVP of the league" when discussing his importance in Games 3 & 4. pic.twitter.com/vP9fNwfuiZ
— NBA (@NBA) May 9, 2022
The Sixers have tied the series at two games apiece. But there's still a lot of basketball left to be played.