It didn’t matter that they were away from home, the Philadelphia 76ers still beat the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night.
They did this to an unfriendly crowd and without the help of Joel Embiid, who is still out with an injury.
After the major 119-115 victory, James Harden made it clear that the series wasn’t even close to being done.
“It’s one game, bro. It’s one game,” Harden said after the final buzzer sounded, according to ESPN.
James Harden wasn't ready to celebrate after winning Game 1 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/Ad2gYXvLlD
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 2, 2023
Harden knows that Monday night’s win was an important one but he is also well aware that the Celtics can come back and still claim the series.
He and his Sixers need to act as if they are behind every night and fight harder than ever if they wish to make the Eastern Conference Finals.
Harden has suffered his fair share of negative responses over the years but the fans came out to support his comment after the game.
“It just 1 stay locked in,” one fan said.
It's just 1 stay locked in
— kobean (@RetardedGenius9) May 2, 2023
“he knows all too well until it’s over it’s not over,” another said.
Can’t blame him he knows all too well until it’s over it’s not over
— MARCK (@MrZyrian) May 2, 2023
Many people praised Harden for the mindset he was in and they think it’s going to help his team stay strong throughout the series.
This is probably the best thing I've seen him do in the playoffs. Good for him.
— CSDelgado (@CAciDelgado) May 2, 2023
And some people called out NBA analysts and fans who had seemingly written Harden off, along with Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, and others.
Harden is showing that he might still have what it takes to go all the way to the Finals.
It’s funny, all the “chokers” and people expected to do bad in the playoffs have been going off. Y’all wrote off AD, Jokic, James, Himmy Butler… etc
— 🥦 (@Ishemarw) May 2, 2023
As great as Monday night’s win was for the Sixers, there are many challenges ahead.
Game 2 will also be held in Boston and the Celtics are sure to come out with something to prove.
Will they give up another game at home?
Harden is quite sure that the Celtics will come to play in Game 2.NEXT: James Harden Has A Message After Game 1 Victory