PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Moments after James Harden dropped 51 points in Houston’s 123-118 win over Philadelphia on Friday night, the Rockets’ star was singing the praises of another — 76ers’ rookie sensation Joel Embiid.
“Offensively he’s just skilled,” Harden said during his post-game interview with ESPN. “He’s probably the most skilled big man we have in this league.”
It wasn’t the triple-double that 5-time All-Star Harden put up, but Embiid certainly didn’t disappoint in front of a nationally televised audience. He finished with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. He also added 3 steals and a pair of blocked shots.
“He’s shooting the three at a high level, 7′ 2″, finishing around the basket, making plays for his teammates,” said Harden. “And defensively he blocked my shot.”
Embiid’s performance wasn’t enough to overcome Harden and the Rockets, but if he hadn’t done so already, the third overall pick in 2014 put the NBA on notice that he’s the real deal — and perhaps so are the Sixers, who lost for just the fourth time in their last 14 games.
“He’s everywhere. He has a bright future,” Harden said. “Philly has something special here.”