Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Thunder Edge 76ers
ORLANDO -- There are many things James Harden does well; he can consistently bury the mid-range jumper, play insistent defense, protect the ball and make quality passing decisions.
But perhaps his best asset is his relentless ability to get to the free throw line. The former Arizona State star attempted 18 foul shots on Monday, 10 on Tuesday and on Wednesday, went 15-of-18 from the stripe and finished with 21 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the previously undefeated Philadelphia 76ers, 89-80, at the 2010 AirTran Pro Summer League.
"Attacking, being aggressive," Harden said about the keys to his game and helping lead his team to victories. "I'm just trying to get to the line."
Byron Mullens, meanwhile, connected on three critical buckets, including two ferocious slam dunks, in the fourth quarter and concluded with 16 points to help seal the win. D.J. White also drained a crucial jumper in the final minute.
Eric Maynor contributed 10 points and five assists before leaving the game in the fourth with a wrist injury.
Marreese Speights, meanwhile for Philadelphia, is one of the more experienced players in this year's Summer League. It showed on Wednesday.
The former Florida Gator and NCAA champion registered 16 of his 20 points in the second half to help the 76ers crawl back from a 15-point deficit.
"Mo finished strong which is good to see," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said.
Expected to earn more playing time next season due to the departure of Samuel Dalembert, Speights is hoping his third season in the league is his breakout year. The 6-10, 250-pound power player tore his MCL last year and missed 14 games.
Jrue Holiday guided Philadelphia with a game-high 25 points.
For more on Summer League, check out OrlandoMagic.com