Charles Barkley Challenges James Harden, Other 76ers Stars After Clutch Game 4 Win

In game 4 of the Sixers-Thunder playoff series, James Harden and Russell Westbrook had a battle on their hands. The 76ers would win their first round match up against Oklahoma City in overtime, with Joel Embiid leading the way for Philadelphia. After the victory over Houston, which saw fans storming into Wells Fargo center chanting “Trust The Process”, Charles Barkley took to Twitter to challenge fellow NBA stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant to come play ball with him if they wanted some fun.

James Harden and Charles Barkley have been going back and forth all season. The 76ers won a game 4 against the Rockets, which had them facing elimination. Read more in detail here: who does james harden play for.

The Philadelphia 76ers were just a few games away from flying to Cabo San Lucas. But Joel Embiid’s amazing comeback (mask and all) has helped them rebound to a 2-2 draw with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Philadelphia is now returning to Florida for Game 5, and NBA icon Charles Barkley has a challenge for James Harden and the rest of the team. He feels their games should be taken on the road. Joel Embiid is known for dominating in every situation. The Sixers need Harden and his teammates to continue their outstanding performance in Miami.

James Harden and other 76ers players were challenged by Charles Barkley.

NBA legend Charles Barkley and Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden.

NBA legend Charles Barkley and Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden. Rich Fury/Getty Images; Mitchell Leff/Getty Images (L-R) Charles Barkley and James Harden

Due to an orbital fracture and concussion, Joel Embiid missed Games 1 and 2 against the Heat, and Miami comfortably won both games.

However, his reappearance in Games 3 and 4 altered the series’ whole dynamic. In Game 3, he only scored 18 points and 11 rebounds, but his presence allowed his teammates to have huge games, resulting to a 99-79 victory for Philly. In Game 4, Embiid scored 24 points and 11 rebounds, while James Harden’s big game (31 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds) helped the 76ers beat the Heat 116-108.

So, before of a pivotal Game 5, Charles Barkley took on Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris. In Game 3, Maxey scored 21 points and six assists, while in Game 4, he had 18 points and six assists. In Game 4, Harris had 13 points.

“It (the remainder of the series) hinges on James, Tyrese, and Tobias Harris since Joel altered the game’s whole dynamic.” On the May 8 edition of Inside the NBA, Barkley observed, “He’s Shaq-like.” “… They’ll have to double him.” That was the distinction. You just witnessed the difference between James and Tobias, Maxey, and Danny Green getting wide-open shots. Joel Embiid must be doubled. So it’ll come down to those four gentlemen. Is it possible for them to take their game on the road? It’s that easy.”

Barkley makes an excellent statement, particularly in light of Game 4’s outcome. When Harden is on fire, the 76ers are a whole different team.

For the Sixers, James Harden has to keep playing well.

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The 76ers acquired James Harden because Ben Simmons was unavailable this season, but they also wanted him to provide huge scoring nights in crucial situations. Last season, Simmons struggled in those games, and Philly was eliminated from the conference semifinals.

Harden, on the other hand, has failed to have a great night in his first nine postseason games, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who proclaimed him “done.” Prior to Sunday’s Game 4, he had only scored 20 points four times and averaged 18.6 points on 39.8% shooting. In addition, Beard only hit 32.1 percent of his three-point shots.

In Game 4, though, Harden reverted to his old ways. He scored 31 points, with 16 coming in the fourth quarter. In addition, the 2017-18 MVP shot 44.4 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Although Joel Embiid is fantastic, the Sixers are simple to defend if Harden is missing jumpers on his own. A hot Harden transforms Philly’s offense, allowing Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and Danny Green to shine.

The 76ers have fought back to keep this series alive. But now it’s up to Harden to maintain his elite level of play and lead his team to the conference finals.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

RELATED: Charles Barkley Issues a Strong Warning to the 76ers Regarding James Harden’s Future Decision

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