NEW YORK (AP) – At times, such as when James Harden raced up the floor and found a cutting Kawhi Leonard for a layup, it was easy to see why the Clippers’ new four-star system can be so potent.
“Unlimited possibilities,” Harden said.
Other times, such as when Russell Westbrook threw away a pass trying to get the ball to Harden to ignite a fast break as the New York Knicks were taking control, it appeared it might take a while before that happens.
Harden scored 17 points yesterday in his first game of the season, but the Clippers fell too far behind with a rough start to the fourth quarter and the Knicks beat them 111-97.
Harden joined the Clippers last week after finally getting the trade he sought from the Philadelphia 76ers since the summer and jumped right into the starting lineup in his debut, taking the floor with Leonard, Westbrook and Paul George.
“So just because you acquire a guy like James Harden doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to win,” coach Tyronn Lue said before the game. “You’ve got to put the work in and you’ve got to be ready to sacrifice.”