Seeing James Harden’s home debut in the 76ers on Wednesday night against the Knicks will personally cost you.
On Sunday night at the Ticketmaster secondary market, the seats in the lower queue cost as much as $ 1,100 per ticket.
The excitement of Philadelphia fans from the fact that Harden, a 10-time all-star selection and MVP of the 2017-18 league, paired with stellar center Joel Embiid, combined with Harden’s performances in his first two away games, created what feels like madness for Sixers.
Harden scored 27 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds at plus-minus plus 35 in 35 minutes during Friday’s victory over the Timberwolves 133-102, then added a triple-double with 29 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. along with five interceptions in Sunday’s victory over the Knicks on national television with a score of 125-109.
Harden’s debut in the Friday Sixers became the highest-ranked regular season game at NBC Sports Philadelphia since 2001.
The 32-year-old Harden received a standing ovation when he rang the bell before the Feb. 15 defeat by the Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center as he recovered from left hamstring tension. He is looking forward to a wilder atmosphere for his home debut.
“I’m looking forward to Wednesday, man,” Harden said after the victory in New York.
“(Sunday) it felt like we were in Philly. The crowd will be – it will be turned on (energized) and I’m ready for that.”
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Harden was already raving about Philadelphia believers during his introductory press conference on Feb. 15.
“These are probably the best fans in the NBA,” Harden said. “… I’m just happy that they’re on my side and I’m not booed as (part of) the opposing team. I’m thrilled, dude. Just love, the atmosphere – just going to this arena it’s going to be something special.”
Harden and Embid scored 127 points, 37 rebounds and 34 assists in their first two games as teammates. They tried to execute an incredible 59 free throws, with Embid making 23 on 27 from the line on Sunday.
“Incessantly,” Embid said of their game for two. “What (defending the opponent) will do? You have to make a decision.”
“This pressure will be a burden for the teams to cover, night after night,” Harden agreed.
However, as Embid noted, on Sunday he and Tobias Harris had a hard time hitting the ball. Embid went from field 7 to 18, while Harris made 3 of 9 attempts from the game.
“I can’t imagine what will happen if we put it all together,” Embid said. “And we still scored 125 points.”
Sixers basketball president Daryl Mori has acquired Harden and veteran great man Paul Milsap of the Nets on Feb. 10 in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Dramando and a couple of first-round elections.
From 1984-85, the Sixers only once went beyond the second round of the NBA playoffs. Led by Hall of Fame member Allen Iverson, they reached the final of the 2000-01 season, losing to Shaquille O’Neill, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Last season, the Sixers set the best record in the Eastern Conference (49-23), but lost to the Hawks despite a 2-1 series advantage. Philly has released three of his last four games, including games 5 and 7 at home.
The Sixers 2021-22 have a score of 37-23 this season and 10-4 in their last 14 games, as well as the best in the 21-10 away conference. And if you think that Harden studied only three plays of the Sixers.
“I’m just cheating on it,” Harden said. “We have a long way to go. This is game 2 for me. There is still a long way to go, but I like the direction we are in, especially in defense. “
Philly fans will show how excited they are that Harden will be here on Wednesday.
Tom Moore: tmoore @ couriertimes; @TomMoorePhilly