Vintage Harden highlights player grades from Rockets win over 76ers

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook Clint Capela (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets Starters

B -. In 37 minutes, P.J. Tucker attempted just one shot and went scoreless against the 76ers. Fortunately, the Rockets are built in a way that doesn’t rely on Tucker to be an offensive force every night. The veteran forward did a nice job battling on the glass as usual, pulling down five including an important offensive rebound in the fourth quarter. Given that P.J.’s value relies heavily on the effort he puts out on the court, it’s very rare to see a bad game from Tuck, including Friday’s.. Power forward. Houston Rockets. P.J. TUCKER

Houston Rockets. RUSSELL WESTBROOK. C +. Rockets’ fans are quickly learning just how much the phrase “he gives and he takes away” applies to Russell Westbrook. Yes, he scored 20 points and added seven rebounds and four assists, but he also essentially single-handedly allowed the Sixers back into the game with an awful third quarter. Then again, he scored five quick points in the fourth quarter after Philadelphia had started off on a 6-0 run. Westbrook’s 9-of-22 shooting, 1-of-5 from the charity stripe and four turnovers earn him a C + against Philly.. Point guard

Center. Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA. A +. It says something about your competitive spirit when you show up against the best players. Clint Capela did just that in his matchup with Joel Embiid, playing tough defense on the big man while also dominating on the other end of the floor. Capela did everything right against Philadelphia: running the floor, contesting shots, protecting the paint, scoring easy buckets and pulling down boards. At the end of the night, he ended up with 30 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and a block in 37 minutes of action.

DANUEL HOUSE. B. Much like Tucker, Danuel House had a quiet night offensively also, with his lone bucket being a wide-open three off a kick from Harden. Also like Tucker, he contributed in other ways by playing solid defense and pitching in a handful of rebounds. Given that he only shot three times on the night, his low production can be chalked up to the dominance of his teammates.. Small Forward. Houston Rockets

A +. It was a new-look James Harden that showed up to the first Rockets game of 2020, but the national TV audience quickly learned he’s the same old Harden. Actually, it looked to be an improved Harden that came to play on Friday night, if that’s even possible. 44 points. 11 assists. 11 rebounds. 6-of-12 from downtown. 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. All you have to do is tune into the last two minutes of the game to see the ridiculous level at which The Beard was playing. If this is 2020 Harden going forward, the league is in trouble.. Shooting guard. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

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