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Harden's Clippers fall to 76ers in 1st game since trade

LOS ANGELES – James Harden, who forced a trade from Philadelphia to the Los Angeles Clippers last November, was a loser on Sunday (Monday Manila time) in the first meeting between the NBA clubs since the deal.

Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey each scored 24 points and Cameron Payne added 23 off the bench to lead the 76ers in a 121-107 victory at Los Angeles.

The Sixers, still without injured 2023 NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid, pulled ahead early and stopped a late fightback for the victory.

Harden had 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor, going 0-of-6 from 3-point range, but the 34-year-old guard — a former Most Valuable Player and three-time NBA scoring champion — added a game-high 14 assists.

Harden had been unhappy about not being traded in the off-season and was moved as part of a seven-player deal a few days after the campaign began.

Kawhi Leonard and reserve Norman Powell each scored 20 points to lead the Clippers while Paul George added 18 points.

The 76ers improved to 39-32, one game behind Indiana for the sixth and last Eastern Conference playoff position outside the play-in games, while the Clippers slid to 44-26, only a half-game ahead of New Orleans for fourth in the Western Conference.

New Orleans had 36 points from Zion Williamson and 23 from C.J. McCollum in a 114-101 victory at Detroit, sending the league-worst Pistons (12-59) to a sixth consecutive defeat.

Williamson made 13-of-14 shots from the floor and 10-of-14 from the free throw line while added seven rebounds and six assists to dominate.