A Song Turned Around a 76’s Playoff Match
By: Jason Shen
On May 7, the 76’ers had a close, always changing match against the Celtics that ended 116-115. A song was the reason that the 76’ers won the match. Before the game, James Harden, a player on the 76’ers team got a message from his coach sending him a gospel song.
Harden played the entire 7-minute song, thinking that he might get some good luck out of it, and it worked. The song wasn't his only motivation for the game though, because he made a promise months ago to John Hao, a Michigan State shooting survivor who was paralyzed from the chest down, that when he was healthy enough, he would help him get to a game. The game on May 7 was going to be the game that Harden was able to get him to.
In the first quarter of the game, the 76’s were leading by a whole fifteen points! After halftime, the lead grew to 9 points ahead of the Celtics. In the third quarter, the Celtics were still behind and the score was 99-90. With 2 minutes left, the Celtics recovered to having a five point lead over the 76’s. When there was half a minute left, the Celtics were leading 115-113, but Harden scored a 3 pointer boosting the 76’s into the win with 116 points.
Harden and Embiid (one of Harden’s teammates) continued their strong play in the next game. Now they hope to bring that same chemistry back to Philly for the game after that. And the Sixers always have a secret weapon if they need it. After the game, someone mentioned the importance of the gospel song. “He (referring to the coach) better play it again,” he said, looking at Harden smiling and laughing. “He better play it again.”