Washington – James Harden knows his history and he used to make it.

He knocks names down the leaderboards regularly. Monday night, two Native New Yorkers fell a step.

With 17 assists in the Sixers’ 118-111 win over the Wizards, Harden overtook Stephen Marbury and Nate “Tiny” Archibald on the NBA assists list. He is now at number 27.

Fast, 6-foot-1 left, Archibald remains the only player to lead the league on both points in every game and assist in every game in the same season. He averaged 34.0 points and 11.4 assists in 1972-73.

“Tiny and Stephon Marbury, two really good players and builders we’ve had in this league and have a game,” Harden said. Make the right play and good things happen. You give everyone confidence.

“Tonight, was a great pick. PJ (Tucker) did a really good job finding that pocket. Although he (Kristaps Porzingis) is 7ft tall, he found his space, found his pocket, and his buoy worked. So I just try Finding ways to help my teammates on an ongoing basis and make the game easier for them.”

Tucker (13 points on 6-for-8, five rebounds) started center with Joel Embiid off due to a non-COVID illness and then shared the post-match press conference podium with his former Rockets teammate. Both of them were wearing clothes that were emphatically examined ‘Bright’ and ‘Bold’ color paletteswith patches of pink and blue.

While Tucker has seen plenty of Harden’s passing skill before, Tyrese Maxey doesn’t seem to have quite come out of the dazed stage.

“He played basketball a lot and played in many different styles and many big games,” Maxi said of Harden. “I think from the movie he’s seen, he knows where men should be. He knows how to pick his places, he knows when to attack, he knows when to make it easy. He’s just great.”

“He was leading us in scoring in the first quarter, he was just aggressive, but I looked for him and he also had six or seven assists in the first quarter – so he does a little bit of everything. That’s what we want him to do. We really appreciate him. He’s really cool. In basketball. That’s all I can really say.”

Maxi scored 28 points on the team level and led much of the decisive increase in the second half. With Embiid out, a more offensive style of thinking wasn’t new to Maxey. However, it is noticeable that his sense of many of the subtleties of the game such as changing the pace, reading the defenders’ help, taking advantage of a defense collapse or making a mistake is getting more and more intense.

“Yeah, it’s growing,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said. “He really is. You can see that. In the first half, I thought he made some dirty plays, and he tried to force it. A lot is coming to him. You think about it, the last time we played a little ball (against the Raptors) he had (44) points.” , so he was thinking, “Well, that’s going to be another of those nights.” …Then he sort of gathered himself, and figured out how they would play with him and take advantage of him.”

Harden sees Maxey’s speed as the basis for further Pick-and-Roll progression.

“It’s so fast,” the 10-times All-Star said with a chuckle. “He’s so fast. Obviously, I never want him to slow down, but there are moments when he can go from slow to fast or fast to slow and change his pace. That’s what really knocks teams and defenses out. Once he gets that change of pace and a change of pace. Direction…and then once the paint gets in it’s really good to finish a match.

“But then the next step is, if he’s not able to finish, finding – or even figuring out, before taking off – where his teammates are. And that is figuring out where the help defense comes from. As a great young player, you have a lot of work to be done. You have to do it, a lot of steps you have to take, but he put in the effort. It’s worth it. So for him, just keep going.”

For the 37-year-old, it didn’t take long to rely on superlatives with maxi.

“In the short time I’ve been here, I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone work as hard as him,” Tucker said. “He really puts work into his game. Like James said, it’s little things because he’s very fast and he has good ball skills.

“I have to tell him all the time, I get illegal screens because he’s running really fast and he’s very willing to get into them. And he’s like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to slow down, brother.” Once he’s gone, there aren’t a lot of people who can guard him. … You don’t want him to slow down. You want him to stay aggressive and continue to be cool.”

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