James Harden defends the Sixers’ Game 2 performance even though they made unwanted NBA Playoff history by losing by 34 points

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More

This past Wednesday night, Philadelphia made NBA playoff history for all the wrong reasons, as they became the first team with the MVP in their roster to lose a postseason first- or second-round match by more than 34 points. 

One of the franchise’s main stars, James Harden, decided to speak out on behalf of his teammates and push aside the critics after their 121-87 defeat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference’s semifinal series against Boston.

Take a look at his reactions after their historic loss to the Celtics in Boston:

Sixers star Joel Embiid had missed the last two games prior to Game 2 due to a knee injury, two games that were won in his absence. The first one was the definite and fourth victory in the first-round series vs. Brooklyn, and the second an impressive opening contest against the Celtics earlier this week.

Now that the big man has received the honor for the 2022/23 NBA MVP this season, his team decided to put hin on court even though he later admitted he wasn’t 100% healthy. Embiid performed poorly throughout the match as rival coach Joe Mazzulla based his strategy on Philly’s weakness.

According to Harden, who dropped 45 points in Game 1, it doesn’t matter by how many points did they lose, what’s important is that the series is now 1-1.

“As much as we wanted to win two games here, we won a game,” he said. “Like I said a couple days ago, even keeled, you never want to get too high and you never want to get too low.”

“The Beard” is simply taking it as realistically as possible. “Win a game, lose by 30 tonight, it all counts as one win, one loss,” he stated in spite of Wednesday’s unwanted record.

Embiid makes sure everyone is clear he knows that winning the championship is more important than becoming MVP

After the game, the press was all over the Sixers center, trying to get a word out of him after their embarrassing defeat. Embiid starting by stating that he still doesn’t fill 100%, but he knows that is no excuse as he promised to give his all in the matches to come.

Embiid told ESPN: “I don’t want to win this award because it’s just the MVP. I want to win it because it means a lot to me. I went through a lot, and that’s just a validation of everything, the sacrifices and everything you went through just paying off in some ways.”

The season MVP is clear about his priorities. “Obviously, winning a championship is going to be way better, and we have that opportunity,” he said. “But I’m just competitive. I want it all. I want to win everything that I can get my hands on, and everybody around me knows that.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s about basketball or if you’re playing a game in life or whatever. I want to win everything. I want to be first.”

One of the biggest classic rivalries in the East will return for Game 3 this Friday, as the 76ers host the Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center.