Harden hits 44 in Nets win over Pistons, says he's MVP | Inquirer Sports

Harden hits 44 in Nets win over Pistons, says he’s MVP

/ 12:47 PM March 27, 2021

James Harden Nets Pistons

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets drives around Mason Plumlee #24 and Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons during the first half at Little Caesars Arena on March 26, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

James Harden made his case for the Most Valuable Player award after he delivered game-highs of 44 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists Friday to power the Brooklyn Nets over the Detroit Pistons, 113-111, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

Harden missed Wednesday’s loss at Utah with neck soreness but returned with a vengeance at Detroit, hitting 14-of-30 from the floor, 4-of-11 3-pointers, and 12-of-14 free throws.


It was Harden’s highest-scoring performance since joining the Nets from Houston, helping Brooklyn improve to 31-15 and making a strong push for himself as the NBA MVP.


“I feel like I am the MVP. It’s just that simple,” Harden said. “Let’s leave it at that.”

Harden scored 12 of Brooklyn’s 15 points in a key stretch that ended early in the fourth quarter and turned a one-point deficit into a 10-point Nets lead.

“I just try to go out there and give my teammates every single thing I can bring to the game,” Harden said. “I just take what the defense gives me, just play the game the right way and try to be efficient.”

With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving missing from the Nets’ lineup, Harden has raised his game. Also inspired was reserve Blake Griffin, who added 17 points in his return after leaving Detroit for the Nets.

Jeff Green sank a late 3-pointer and Joe Harris added a free throw with 5.3 seconds to hold off the Pistons.


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TAGS: Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, MVP, NBA

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