Harden's incredible numbers in 76ers stats off Game 4


We’ve written a lot about James Harden in our 76ers stats columns so far this postseason. Only for his turnovers and poor shooting.

This is different.

Harden was magnificent down the stretch Sunday night for the 76ers as they evened their Eastern Conference semifinal round series with the Heat at 2-all with a 116-108 win at the Wells Fargo Center.

He scored 16 of his 31 points in the final 9:42 in his first 30-point game in six weeks.

Let’s go to the stats! 

4TH-QUARTER MAGIC: Harden’s 16-point fourth quarter matched the 2nd-biggest in his 143 career playoff games, according to Stathead. Harden scored 17 in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ win over the Warriors in Game 4 of their 2015 Western Conference finals game in Houston. He also had 16 in a 2015 game against the Clippers and in 2017 against the Spurs. His previous 4th-quarter scoring high as a 76er was 11 points in March against the Mavericks. 

3-POINT HEROICS: Harden became only the third 76er ever with four 3’s in the fourth quarter of a playoff game – but the second in three days. Tyrese Maxey was 4-for-4 in Game 3 on Friday. Aaron McKie had four in 2000. Harden made as many 4th-quarter 3’s Sunday as he had in the first nine games of the postseason combined. He was 4-for-13 from 3 in the Raptors series and the first three games of the Heat series, and 4-for-6 Sunday. 

FIRST TIME EVER: Harden shot 6-for-10 from 3-point range Sunday, becoming the first 76er in franchise history to attempt 10 or more 3’s in a playoff game and shoot at least 60 percent. Harden shot 32 percent from 3 in the first nine games of the postseason. The previous high shooting percentage by a 76er attempting double-digit 3’s in a playoff game was Seth Curry’s 58 percent last year in Game 5 of the Hawks series. 

THIS NEVER HAPPENS: To put that in context, Harden had played 142 playoff games in his career, attempted 10 or more 3’s 40 times and shot 60 percent exactly once. That was in 2015 for the Rockets in a Western Conference finals win over the Warriors, when he was 7-for-11. In 1,088 regular-season plus postseason games in his career, he has just six career performances where he took 10 or more 3s and shot 60 percent. 

ELITE COMPANY: Harden became only the third 76er to score at least 16 points in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. Iverson did it four times – three times in 200, once in 2003 – and Joel Embiid had a 17-point fourth quarter in the 76ers’ loss to the Celtics in Game 4 of their 2020 Eastern Conference semifinal round game. 

BOMBS AWAY FOR GREEN: It wasn’t just Harden who shined for the 76ers Sunday. Danny Green shot 3-for-4 from 3 on the heels of his 7-for-9 on Friday. That’s 10-for-13 overall for 77 percent, which makes the first 76er in franchise history to take 12 or more 3’s in a two-game span and make at least 75 percent of them. The 76ers’ previous high for 3-point shooting over a two-game period was Seth Curry’s 10-for-15 for 67 percent last year in the first two games of the Hawks series. Green is shooting 14 percent from 3 in Miami in this series and 77 percent in Philadelphia. 

AN NBA RARITY: The 76ers shot 48.5 percent from 3 on 16-for-33. This is the sixth time in franchise history they’ve taken at least 30 3-pointers and shot at least 46 percent but the second time in three days and the fourth time this postseason. They’re only the fifth team in NBA history with four such games in any postseason. After shooting exactly 16-for-33 in each of the last two games, they’re only the third team in NBA history with consecutive playoff games shooting 46 percent or better with at least 30 attempts.  

KEEP SHOOTING, MIAMI: The Heat, meanwhile, shot 7-for-35 for 20 percent from 3 after shooting 7-for-30 for 23 percent in Game 3. They’re only the second team in NBA history to shoot 23 percent in consecutive playoff games when they took at least 30 shots from 3. The Bucks shot 18 percent and 22 percent in consecutive games against the Celtics in 2019. Toronto shot 7-for-35 in Game 6 of their series against the 76ers, who are now the only team in NBA history to hold two teams to 20 percent 3-point shooting on 35 or more 3’s in the same postseason.  

HISTORIC PERFORMANCE FROM BUTLER: Miami’s Jimmy Butler scored 40 points on 65 percent shooting, which ties the most points an opposing player has ever scored in a playoff game in Philadelphia while shooting 65 percent or better. Oscar Robertson scored 40 on 68 percent from the field in the Cincinnati Royals’ 121-120 win at Philadelphia Arena. Butler is only the second opposing player with a 40-point playoff performance against the 76ers in the last 20 years. Kawhi Leonard had two for the Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference semis.  

HUGE SECOND HALF: Butler scored 25 points in the second half on 8-for-12 shooting. The only players with more 4th-quarter points in a playoff game against the 76ers over the last 25 years are Jamal Mashburn of the Hornets in 2003 and Leonard in 2019, who both scored 26. Butler is the first player since 1997 – as far back as Stathead tracks quarter-by-quarter scoring – with a 25-point postseason second half on 60 percent shooting against the 76ers.

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