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James Harden scored his first points with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night, and of course they included a free throw.
Harden’s struggled to reach the line at such a consistent clip this season, as it would appear officials aren’t falling for his usual tactics. But now in Philadelphia, Harden received the benefit of the doubt while driving to the rim early in his debut against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Sixers dealt for Harden in a package that included Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and more. Philadelphia received the best player in said trade, thus making them perhaps the most immediate winner — though that could change over time.
76ers: James Harden scores first bucket against Timberwolves
Harden is an expert at securing the and-1, and he didn’t disappoint with his creative jab step to find a way around the Wolves defender. Heck, after just one quarter of play, the 76ers shot 16 free throws — 11 of which came from Joel Embiid and Harden.
Whether that’ll translate into wins long-term remains to be seen, but for now Embiid appears happy to have a sidekick in tow, rather than sitting at home.
Simmons, on the other hand, is not scheduled to make his Nets debut anytime soon.