James Harden’s offensive explosion propels Clippers to 8th consecutive win after former teammate’s high praise

After bringing his spell with the Philadelphia 76ers to an end, which also ended his feud with the 76ers president, James Harden seems to have rediscovered his form with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the talent of the former MVP has never been doubted, despite the controversies that usually surround his trades.

Though many questioned his impact with the Clippers initially when he had a handful of disappointing appearances in the first month. However, that looks like a thing of the past as James Harden is making history with the LA Clippers while attracting praise from the ex-teammates.     

Harden dominates as Clippers extend winning streak

James Harden showcased his best form since being traded to the Clippers, scoring an impressive season-high 35 points and providing nine assists to guide the Los Angeles Clippers to their eighth consecutive victory.

The Clippers secured a convincing 151-127 win against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night in Indianapolis. Harden’s exceptional performance included a remarkable shooting display, going 12 of 16 from the field and hitting 8 of 11 from beyond the arc.

James Harden offensive explosion propels Clippers to 8th consecutive win, after former teammate Eric Gordon's high praise on the former OKC, Houston, and 76ers star
James Harden Via Getty

The Clippers secured their eighth consecutive victory with a commanding performance against the Pacers. Kawhi Leonard led the charge with 28 points, well-supported by Paul George’s 27 points and Ivica Zubac’s impressive contribution of 18 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks. Norman Powell added 19 points coming off the bench. The win marked the Clippers’ longest winning streak from December 2015 to January 2016.

Benedict Mathurin’s career-high 34 points off the bench couldn’t rescue the struggling Pacers, who suffered their fourth consecutive loss. Isaiah Jackson, making his first start of the season, contributed 15 points, while Obi Toppin and Buddy Hield each added 14. The Clippers dominated with a 57.1 percent shooting accuracy, including a 50 percent success rate from beyond the arc.

Nevertheless, the Clippers took control early, maintaining an 11-point halftime lead, and extended it to 83-66 in the third quarter. Despite the Pacers’ efforts to narrow the gap, the Clippers secured a comfortable 114-94 lead heading into the final quarter. Indiana’s attempt to rally fell short, and the Clippers emerged victorious, showcasing their offensive prowess and defensive resilience.

Eric Gordon unpacks James Harden’s statement

James Harden indeed shook the NBA when he declared, “I am the system,” in his first press conference with the L.A. Clippers. ‘The Beard’ had just arrived in Los Angeles, having requested a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. His decision stemmed from a strained relationship with GM Daryl Morey, citing ‘broken promises.’

Despite the raised eyebrows in response to his statement, Eric Gordon, a former teammate from the Houston Rockets, shed light on what the 2018 MVP truly intended by those words.

James Harden offensive explosion propels Clippers to 8th consecutive win, after former teammate Eric Gordon's high praise on the former OKC, Houston, and 76ers star
James Harden Via Getty

“So I get what he means when he said ‘I’m not a system guy,'” Gordon said during an appearance on J.J. Redick’s The Old Man and the Three podcast.

“Of course, he can do it. But with him, you got to be a lot of free.” Gordon added, “You gotta let him go one-on-one. You gotta let him go in the post. It’d be better for him that way.”

Explaining further, Gordon emphatically said, “And then you got to work off him. And once you work off him, I would say he becomes more motivated to do everything as far as moving the ball, doing this, doing that. So I definitely get what he means.”

Harden’s ‘system’ remark stirred varied reactions. The dynamic guard responded to a query about his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, implying that the team constrained him to a specific role in their system, hindering him from showcasing his true playing style. However, the Clippers’ winning streak is solely James Harden’s effect, a result the franchise deserves for giving him the needed court freedom. 

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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