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James Harden Reveals Plans for Post Season at Los Angeles Clippers

James Harden - Los Angeles Clippers (Via NBA/Twitter)

LA Clippers’ point guard James Harden emphasized his ongoing hunger to prove himself in the postseason, despite his already illustrious career.

In Game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks, with Kawhi Leonard sidelined, Harden showcased his prowess, delivering his most dominant first half as a Clipper, contributing 20 of his 28 points to establish a commanding 29-point lead at Crypto.com Arena.

“I can score with the best of ’em,” Harden asserted. “Still can score with the best of ’em. My role for this team is just generating really good shots and making guys’ jobs easier.

And then when my number to score is called, then you score the basketball. Obviously, Kawhi is out, so my playmaking and my volume is going to go up a little bit more, and took advantage of it.”

James Harden – Los Angeles Clippers (Via NBA/Twitter)

Despite Leonard’s absence, the Clippers exhibited remarkable determination, epitomized by Ivica Zubac’s dominant performance with 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook and Terance Mann’s energy and activity proved pivotal, while Paul George’s late-game heroics sealed the victory with 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter.

However, it was Harden’s outside shooting in the first half that injected a new dimension into the Clippers’ gameplay. Coach Ty Lue had emphasized the need for Harden to shoulder more scoring responsibility, a message Harden embraced with notable performances towards the end of the regular season.

“A huge element,” acknowledged Lue of Harden’s scoring impact. “When he’s scoring the basketball and making the right play, it’s huge.

James Harden – Los Angeles Clippers (Via NBA/Twitter)

He understands that he doesn’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting with Kawhi and PG both on the floor. But if one of those guys are out, he has to step up and be aggressive to score the basketball. That is what he has been doing for us of late. I thought he really set the tone early.”

Harden’s contributions extended beyond scoring, as he also facilitated eight assists, totaling 49 points scored or assisted for the Clippers.

With uncertainty surrounding Leonard’s availability for Game 2, Harden may once again find himself tasked with shouldering a significant portion of the scoring load.

“James was great,” commended Zubac. “We needed him and he played great. He is one of the greatest scorers this game has seen. He can do that on a nightly basis. It’s just the role is different for him in this game and [with Leonard out], we need him to score more and that’s what he did and we all know he can do that.”

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