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76ers vs. Magic: James Harden Notes Difference Between Two Games

All 76ers on FanNation 2/2/2023 Justin Grasso
© Provided by All 76ers on FanNation

The 76ers found success in their rematch against the Orlando Magic. James Harden noted the difference between the two recent matchups.

The Orlando Magic found themselves in a steep hole during the first half of their matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. As the Sixers got whatever they wanted offensively, they were off to a 21-point lead early on, teasing a potential blowout matchup.

Perhaps, the Sixers got too comfortable. While Orlando cut the early 20-plus-point lead down to ten by halftime, Orlando completely changed the game in the second half. Not only did they get out in front, but the Magic ended up winning against the Sixers with a ten-point victory.

“They started making shots,” said Sixers guard James Harden after Monday’s loss. “I don’t know, they picked up their pace, they made shots, we couldn’t get into a rhythm on both ends of the ball, and I feel like the game was just happening so fast, especially in the second half.”

The Sixers didn’t inspire hope right out of the gate in the Wednesday night rematch against the Magic. Although a late first-quarter run put them out in front with a 37-23 lead to start the night, Orlando hit back with a 30-19 performance in the second quarter, causing the Sixers to go into halftime with a three-point lead.

A turnover-filled third quarter caused the Sixers to struggle to pull away from Orlando before heading into the fourth quarter, but a cleaner fourth quarter on both ends of the floor helped the Sixers bounce back and get revenge on the Magic.

After the game, Harden noted the difference between Wednesday’s win and Monday’s loss.

“I think we played well throughout the entire course of the game,” said Harden. “Two days ago, we had a really good first half. Second half, we kind of turned the tables on us. We came out to a really good start, jumped out, and then kept that lead. Kind of played well and rode our swag for all four quarters.”

Although the Magic had a few moments where they teased a potential comeback once again, the Sixers closed out Wednesday’s game with a 105-94 victory. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.

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