Kawhi Leonard impressed again as the Los Angeles Clippers won their fourth straight NBA game on Monday.

The Clippers held off the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 132-127 to record their ninth win in their last 12 games, a nice recovery from their six-game losing streak at the start of November.

Leonard now has 75 points in his last two games after scoring a team-high 34 against Portland.

There were also key contributions from Paul George (20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) and James Harden (20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists).

Portland – playing without Deandre Ayton and Malcolm Brogdon – suffered a fourth straight loss despite a career-high 38 points from Anfernee Simons.

Asked about Leonard, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said: "The biggest thing is health and finally getting his rhythm with PG and James starting."

Los Angeles had a 14-point lead late in the first quarter but ultimately had to work hard for the victory.

The Blazers twice held a one-point lead in the closing stages of the fourth quarter having hit a season-high 19 3-pointers in the game.

"I knew it was going to be a tough game for us," added Lue, whose team are now 12-10, eighth in the Western Conference.

"Defensively, we couldn't get stops. They scored every way."

The Clippers are immediately back in action on Tuesday at home against the Sacramento Kings (13-8) to complete a back-to-back.

Leonard had a season-high 41 points in their previous win against the Utah Jazz.

"Offensively the team is in a good rhythm and that is all I care about," Leonard said.

"The ball found me and I made shots. I have played a lot of minutes over the last few games but sometimes you have to. When your best players play longer, you’ll most likely get the win.

"It is about knowing what we are doing and having clarity, using our experience, not being complacent.

"There is still a lot we’re lacking. On defense we didn't play that well. They are a team with great defenders who can turn you over a lot so we were focused on screening hard."

Harden echoed Leonard's view that there is still plenty of work to do.

"We take what the defense gives us, figure it out and attack," he said.

"If you share the ball, you get good results, but it wasn’t as easy as we’d like it to be. We don't have the luxury of overlooking opponents."

After the Los Angeles Clippers fought back from 22 points down for an improbable win over the Golden State Warriors, James Harden said it must serve as a turning point in their difficult season.

The Clippers were staring at back-to-back losses to their neighbours at 70-48 down in the third quarter, just one day after suffering a 120-114 defeat against the same opponents at Chase Center.

However, the Clippers outscored the Warriors 65-42 the rest of the way, with Paul George sinking a decisive three-pointer in the final 10 seconds as they claimed a 113-112 victory.

The Clippers, who have alternated between defeat and victory in their last six games, are now 9-10 after a troubled start to 2023-24.

Former NBA MVP Harden believes he is now beginning to strike up an understanding with fellow stars George and Kawhi Leonard, and he hopes the Clippers can kick on from here.

"Wow, 22…. we don't want to keep going up and down," Harden said when he was made aware of the size of the Warriors' lead. 

"We want to be consistent. I told [George] and [Leonard] before the game, 'let's catch our rhythm'. Let's be good, like we're going to be later in the season. Let's start it now."

George finished with a game-high 25 points, also adding six rebounds and six assists, while Harden and Leonard finished with 21 and 20 points respectively.

"It's big," Leonard said of the win. "We've been trying to be consistent. 

"We are getting better, but very slowly… You know, with how things have been going, it feels great to pull out a win."

Ty Lue enthused "that's what it should look like" after the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings 131-117 on Wednesday.

The Clippers have yet to fully gel since the arrival of James Harden in a blockbuster trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, but they bounced back from a loss to the Denver Nuggets in style.

Kawhi Leonard and Harden combined for 60 points, with the latter providing six assists, as the Clippers eased to a victory that took them 10th in the Western Conference.

"That's what it should look like, guys," Lue said. "That's what it should look like right there. Now, we've got to duplicate it again and again and again."

Harden finished with 26 points, and nailed five of his eight 3-pointer attempts.

"I think James just wanted to prove to y'all that he is James Harden. And so he can do that on a nightly basis," added Lue.

Harden said: "I live in the real world, where I control what I can control, focus on what I got to do every single day and that's all I can control."

One consistent performer so far for the Clippers has been Kawhi Leonard, who has played in all 17 games this season.

"I mean it was years trying to get through that wall," Leonard said.

"I've been dealing with this right knee injury for a while, since 2016-17, even going through the Raptors' [championship] run, that being my first year going so far [in the playoffs with knee issues], just put another toll on it.

"Now I feel good coming out of games and I don't feel anything. So just want to keep going and that's my goal is just to stay healthy and the rest will play itself out."

Next up for the Clippers is a meeting with the Golden State Warriors, who are one place below them in the West.

James Harden says he is feeling "close to myself" after hitting a clutch three to help the Los Angeles Clippers to victory on Friday.

His best game yet as a Clipper saw him record 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as his new team took a 106-100 win over the Houston Rockets, who Harden played for between 2012 and 2021.

Harden had previously struggled to make an impact in Los Angeles, losing all five games he had played for the Clippers before Friday's win, in which the 34-year-old made eight of his 11 shots, including the vital three at the end.

Harden believes he is getting back to his former self, saying: "I'm getting real close.

"I'm getting close to myself. Every game I feel like I'm improving."

Russell Westbrook played just 17 minutes in the victory, his fewest since joining the Clippers prior to the All-Star break last season, with head coach Tyronn Lue revealing after the game that Westbrook had requested to come off the bench as the sixth man to help the team end their losing run.

"He wanted to do that, which [is] an ultimate sacrifice for a guy of his caliber," Lue told reporters. "For things he's done in this league, the things he's done for this team.

"So shout out to Russ for wanting to do that. It's a huge part of what we've talked about, just sacrificing wanting to win at a high level."

Paul George also appreciated Westbrook's sacrifice, explaining: "It's tough with his energy and obviously there's a ton of chemistry there.

"We've always played well off one another, but it just takes a lot for his sacrifice and what he did for us going forward to try new things out. [I] can't say enough on the character of Russ and his leadership."

De’Aaron Fox scored 16 of his season-high 43 points in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings won their fifth straight, 129-120 over the San Antonio Spurs to remain perfect in the In-Season Tournament on Friday.

Domantas Sabonis had 28 points and Malik Monk added 20 as the Kings won their fourth in a row in San Antonio and moved to 2-0 in the West Group C standings of the tournament.

Victor Wembanyama had 27 points on 12-of-26 shooting and nine rebounds after scoring a season-low eight points in Tuesday’s loss at Oklahoma City.

Zach Collins scored 28 points and Keldon Johnson contributed 20, but the Spurs lost their seventh straight and dropped to 0-3 in the in-season tournament.

Durant stars as Suns beat Jazz

Kevin Durant scored 38 points and came up just shy of a triple-double and Devin Booker had 24 points and 15 assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 131-128 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Durant had nine rebounds and nine assists and scored at least 25 points for the 11th straight game, the longest active streak in the NBA.

Durant’s 3-pointer gave Phoenix a 124-115 lead before Utah rallied to get within one in the final minute. He struck again with his sixth 3 of the game with 18 seconds to play.

Jordan Clarkson had a season-high 37 points for Utah and Lauri Markkanen added 21.

Harden hits key 3-pointer as Clippers snap skid

James Harden drilled a tiebreaking 3-pointer while getting fouled with six seconds remaining and the Los Angeles Clippers ended a six-game losing streak with a 106-100 win over the Houston Rockets.

Harden sank a 26-footer from atop the key and completed the rare four-point play to seal his first win since joining the Clippers, who had lost their last five games since acquiring the superstar.

Kawhi Leonard added two free throws in the final second and finished with 26 points, while Harden added 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Alperen Sengun scored 23 points for the Rockets, whose six-game win streak was stopped after allowing Los Angeles to close the game on a 12-1 run.

Paul George was frustrated with the officiating crew as the Los Angeles Clippers’ losing streak continued at the Denver Nuggets.

James Harden is still waiting for his first win in a Clippers jersey despite the team putting in an improved performance, losing 111-108 in a competitive NBA In-Season Tournament game on Tuesday.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the hosts, who held off the Clippers despite George scoring 35 points, tying his season high as Harden added 21.

Los Angeles has lost five straight games with Harden since acquiring him last month. They are 0-6 on the road this season, 0-2 in the tournament and 3-7 overall.

The Nuggets took 32 free throws compared to the Clippers' 24 with Jokic making all 14 of his free-throw attempts.

George went to the line five times, which he felt was nowhere near enough, and was whistled for a technical foul for arguing with the referees shortly before halftime.

"We played great," George said, per ESPN. "It's tough, the adversity of playing against the extra three [officials]. 

"I thought they were awful. But, [against the] defending champs, we [were able to] to play better and there's a lot to be positive about. 

"I'm not one for moral victories, but I thought we showed more of a sign of a team that's close to getting it over the hump."

George, who also had seven rebounds, was asked to elaborate on his comments on the refs.

He added: "It was bad. Five free throws is very disrespectful on this night. So many times I got hit on layups, 3-pointers, it was constant.

"Jump shots, getting hit, smacked on the forearm. I mean, it was poor, a poor job. They [are] calling something on one end, they got to call it on the other.

"But, again, we [have] got to be able to beat these guys on their floor and not rely on that."

Harden sank three of his eight 3-point attempts as the Clippers produced their best performance since his arrival.

"I kept reiterating, I didn’t have a training camp or a preseason, so kind of learning on the fly," Harden said.

"Also getting myself into James Harden shape. This was definitely another step in the right direction and just keep improving."

The Nuggets' Reggie Jackson thinks it is only a matter of time until the Clippers put it all together.

"They’re still figuring it out," he said about George, Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook. 

"You can see it, they’ve got a lot of talents that overlap. When you have superstars, superstars can do a lot of things. They gave us a great punch."

Denver is 9-2 for the season, 7-0 at home and 2-0 in the tournament, even with point guard Jamal Murray still out with a hamstring injury.

Both teams are back in action on Friday with the Clippers hosting the Houston Rockets while the Nuggets are on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ty Lue is sure the Los Angeles Clippers will soon find a way to make things work with James Harden in the team.

The Clippers lost for a third straight game on Friday, going down 126-144 to the Dallas Mavericks.

That was despite a fast start from Los Angeles, who had built a 12-point lead with 1:53 remaining of the first quarter.

"What's the worst that you can be?" Lue asked when reflecting on the rest of his team's display, as they were put to the sword by Luka Doncic's 44 points.

Yet the Clippers coach feels wins will soon come as Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook gain some rhythm with Harden.

"I'm telling you, it's going to be good," said Lue, who rested his starters in the final quarter given the Clippers were trailing by 26 points.

"That's all right. We'll be all right. They better take advantage of it now."

Leonard echoed the sentiment, with the two-time NBA champion saying: "I'm still confident.

"I still feel like we're learning each other, the whole players and coaching staff, and you see a little bit of good things in the game tonight, even last game, having some good leads.

"We're just not sustaining it and once we figure it out, we're going to keep it rolling. So we've all got to stay afloat and stay confident and keep pushing one another to keep that mindset on the goal.

"We have four guys on the floor that are used to having a ball, used to finding a rhythm just by feeling and touching it all game.

"Just playing more, you'll start to figure out, OK, this guy needs this spot here or he got it going, let me buy in into another part of the game where I can make us win."

Leonard led the Clippers with 26 points, with Harden and Westbrook each chipping in with 14. George, though, could only score eight points, adding three rebounds and two assists, in his 23 minutes on the court.

"I feel like you got to learn to just adjust," George said. "It's not from a 'like' standpoint, it's just he's trying this out, too.

"We're all trying to try this out and so I don't know. I don't know, I'm out there to try to just learn on the fly, figure it out on the fly as we all are.

"So I'm rolling with what T-Lue sees out there and again, at some point it's going to work and nobody's going to talk about the rotations and guys on the floor and personnel."

Harden, too, acknowledged it will take time to fully adjust.

"Just getting used to it," he said. "There's just so many great talented players on this team, I got to find a way to still be aggressive, generating shots or creating shots for myself, as well.

"The first quarter felt really good on both ends of the ball, and then from there it went downhill. So trying to find a balance of not trying to step on anyone's toes, but just trying to still be aggressive and be myself.

"It's a process, but it's definitely a little frustrating. We do like to win games."

James Harden sees "unlimited possibilities" with the Los Angeles Clippers after making his debut for his new team.

Harden, who joined the Clippers last week in a blockbuster trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, had to wait until Monday to make his bow.

The 10-time All-Star played 31 minutes, finishing with 17 points and six assists, though he could not help the Clippers avoid a 111-97 defeat to the New York Knicks.

Harden is joining an elite lineup of experienced NBA stars at the Clippers, with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook looking to propel the team towards success this season.

"Unlimited possibilities," Harden said when asked what he sees coming from his move to the Clippers.

It was not an easy debut for Harden, with the 34-year-old conceding it was tough to get up to speed having not had a full preseason following his fallout with the Sixers.

"I feel kind of weird out there, but just not really having a preseason game or an opportunity to participate in the full training camp or none of that," he added.

"It was just [being] out there and just basically winging it. Try to go off my basketball instincts and what I've been doing for the last few years or whatnot. I just went out there and playing and thinking the game and trying to make the game easier for everybody else."

Team-mate Leonard, though, was impressed with what he saw.

"He did a good job his first game in a while," Leonard said of Harden.

"It takes time to get his legs under him as far as conditioning. But he did a great job to me, got everybody involved running pick-and-roll very well."

The sentiment was echoed by Clippers coach Ty Lue, who said: "I thought overall just orchestrating, making the right play, making the right pass and pick-and-rolls, he was really good.

"It's going to take him a little time to get in game shape. We understand that, but his presence on the floor was definitely felt."

Harden is set to make his second Clippers appearance on Wednesday when Los Angeles take on his former team the Brooklyn Nets.

James Harden's anticipated first game as a Los Angeles Clipper ended in a loss, as the New York Knicks spoiled the former NBA MVP's debut with his new team with Monday's 111-97 win.

Julius Randle had 27 points and 10 rebounds and RJ Barrett added 26 points in his return from injury as the Knicks handed the star-studded Clippers their second straight defeat following a 3-1 start to the season.

Harden took the court for the first time since being traded to Los Angeles by the Philadelphia 76ers last week. The 10-time All-Star had 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting along with six assists as a part of a starting lineup that included three other accomplished veterans in Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

The dynamic guard scored five straight points late in the third quarter to give the Clippers a 76-73 lead, but the Knicks countered with a 16-3 run to take an 89-79 advantage with under 9 1/2 minutes left and never trailed thereafter.

Barrett scored 11 points in the fourth quarter after missing New York's previous two games with a sore left knee, while Mitchell Robinson finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds to help the Knicks snap a two-game losing streak.


Edwards sparks overtime win as Wolves hand Celtics first loss

Anthony Edwards scored eight of his 38 points in overtime as the Minnesota TImberwolves handed the Boston Celtics their first loss of the season with a 114-109 victory.

Edwards added nine rebounds and seven assists to help Minnesota overcome an off night from fellow star player Karl-Anthony Towns, who managed just seven points in 28 minutes before fouling out in overtime.

Jaden McDaniels hit a game-tying 3-pointer late in regulation and finished with 20 points for Minnesota, which also received 14 points and 12 rebounds from Rudy Gobert en route to its third straight win.

Boston entered the game as the NBA's lone remaining unbeaten team following a 5-0 start. The Celtics got 32 points and five steals from Jayson Tatum and 26 points from Jaylen Brown, but shot just 28.2 per cent from 3-point range as well as a season-low 39.1 per cent overall. 

The Celtics held a 105-103 lead after Tatum hit two free throws with 3:56 left in overtime, but Minnesota's Mike Conley buried a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession before Edwards capped a pivotal 9-0 run with three consecutive baskets that put the Timberwolves up for good at 112-105 with 1:30 remaining in the extra session.


Adebayo's triple-double propels Heat past Lakers

Bam Adebayo delivered a massive performance with 22 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Miami Heat overcame a late scoring drought to hold on for a 108-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Adebayo became the first Heat player to record a triple-double with at least 20 rebounds, and Miami received 28 points from Jimmy Butler and 22 from Tyler Herro to record its second straight win following a four-game losing streak.

The Heat prevailed despite nearly blowing a 10-point lead with four minutes to play and not making a field goal over the final 4:15 of the contest.

The Lakers scored the game's final nine points and had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Cam Reddish was off the mark with a jumper and Butler grabbed the rebound right before time expired.

LeBron James finished with 30 points on 13-of-23 points to pace the Lakers, while Austin Reaves just missed a triple-double after compiling 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Los Angeles has now dropped the first two outings of its current four-game road trip and played the entire fourth quarter without star forward Anthony Davis, who sustained a groin spasm during the game and was limited to nine points in 25 minutes. 



James Harden hit out at the Philadelphia 76ers in his introductory media briefing as a Los Angeles Clippers player, resulting in Joel Embiid biting back.

Harden completed a move to the Clippers earlier this week, having fallen out of favour with the leadership in Philadelphia.

The 10-time All-Star broke the assists record last season as Philadelphia went on to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals, which they lost to the Boston Celtics.

Harden joined the 76ers after an unhappy stint with the Brooklyn Nets, but in August he criticised Philadelphia's president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, who he branded "a liar".

In his first appearance in front of the media since his move to Los Angeles, Harden was asked where it went wrong.

"Changing my role, which media [felt] is ball dominant, which my ball dominance is really effective," he said. "Changing my role, trying to change the narrative, trying to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to win at the highest level. That's not talked about. It's the other BS.

"So me leaving Brooklyn and thinking I'm going to retire as a Sixer, and the front office had other plans. They didn't want me. There's a lot of narratives and people think they have an opinion. But none of that is true.

"[They kept me] on a leash. I think the game and I'm a creator on the court. So if I got a voice to where I can, 'Hey, Coach, I see this. What d'you think about this?' Somebody who trusts me, that believes in me, that understands me. I'm not a system player. I am a system. You know what I mean?"

Harden's former teammate Embiid, who was the league's MVP last season, disagreed, though.

"I think he did a lot of great things for us," Embiid said of Harden.

"But in my opinion, we gave him the ball every single possession, because he's really good. He's an amazing player. Obviously, being that great of a passer, I think we gave him the ball.

"We'd give him the ball every single possession to just go out and, you know, do his thing. And from there he had to make decisions as far as getting guys open or looking out for himself.

"But I thought he did a pretty good job of getting us into an offense and just passing the ball, getting guys open. That's the reason why he won the assist title last year."

Embiid wishes Harden well, though.

"I'm happy that the situation got resolved, and I'm happy for him," he added.

"I hope he has a chance to succeed, make a lot of money, play good basketball and be able to win. And I hope we both make the Finals, but he's on the losing side of it and we are on the winning side of it.

"But I think when you're looking at the situation, from where it probably came from, we couldn't do anything. It was out of our control. So in that situation, you've just got to go with it.

"But I still believe we had a chance [to win together]. We were right there, especially with the team that we have right now. What he is able to add and what he has done, what we've allowed him to do, we gave the ball every single possession.

"It's unfortunate, but we've got to just move on and we've got a good group of guys that can grow and keep getting better."

Harden is set to make his Clippers bow against the New York Knicks next week.

Victor Wembanyama had the best game of his young career with 38 points and sparked a decisive fourth-quarter run as the San Antonio Spurs squandered a 27-point lead before pulling away for a 132-121 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Wembanyama produced a handful of highlight plays in his fifth NBA game, including a flying dunk in the lane in the second quarter. The 7-foot-4 phenom shot 15 of 26 and grabbed 10 rebounds.

He hit a 3-pointer, made three free throws, dunked and hit an 18-foot jumper during a 12-0 run after the Suns erased a 27-point deficit to tie it at 116 with 4:21 remaining.

Devin Booker scored 31 points in his return from a sprained ankle and added 13 assists and nine rebounds, while Kevin Durant tallied 28 points.

The Spurs beat the Suns in Phoenix for the second time in three days after a stunning 115-114 victory on Tuesday, when they rallied from a 20-point deficit.

Embiid leads 76ers past Raptors

Joel Embiid tallied 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 114-99 win over the Toronto Raptors in their first game since trading James Harden.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 23 points and Tyrese Maxey added 18 as Philadelphia won its third straight since a season-opening loss.

Scottie Barnes scored 24 points for the Raptors, who have lost four of five, including two losses to the 76ers in six days.

Oubre moved into the starting lineup in place of PJ Tucker, who was also dealt to the Clippers in the Harden deal.

Marcus Morris and Nic Batum did not play in their first game since they were dealt, though Robert Covington and K.J. Martin played some in the final 90 seconds with the game in hand.

Short-handed Pelicans beat Pistons

CJ McCollum poured in 33 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 23 with 13 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a pair of key absences in a 125-116 win over the Detroit Pistons.

New Orleans had a season high in points despite playing top scorers Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Williamson was given the night off in the second half of a back-to-back and Ingram missed his third straight game with right knee tendinitis.

Matt Ryan made his first career start and responded with a personal-best 20 points, making the first four 3-pointers he took and finishing 6 of 8 from long range.

Cade Cunningham had 22 points and 11 assists as Detroit lost its third straight.

James Harden "wants to be part of something bigger than himself" with the Los Angeles Clippers, so says the team's president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank.

Harden, a 10-time All-Star and one-time league MVP, has joined the Clippers in a blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 34-year-old had fallen out with the Sixers leadership and requested a move away from Philadelphia.

Harden had branded the Sixers' president of basketball operations Daryl Morey "a liar" in August.

Now in his hometown of Los Angeles with the Clippers, Harden is targeting "something really special", according to Frank.

"James Harden should have been an All-Star last year," Frank said, as per ESPN.

"But he's a 10-time All-Star. He has an elite skill set, and all he cares about is one thing: He wants to win a championship for the LA Clippers.

"He wants to be part of something bigger than himself. He's had all the individual awards. He's about doing something really special."

Harden is in line to make his debut against the New York Knicks on Monday, and Paul George – one of the Clippers' star names along with Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook – revealed he has previously spoken with the former Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets guard about how they can make things work in LA.

"I mean, we've talked leading up to it," George said after the Clippers' 130-125 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

"[That's] the reason why he's here. We wanted him here. We all said we think we can make it work, [that] we'll figure it out.

"But we obviously got to practice. We got to play for us to really get on the same page and understand how to play on the floor with one another.

"What better story to be told than for four Southern Cal guys to do what's never been done before and be champions?"

Leonard, a two-time NBA champion, suggested the four stars in the Clippers roster will have to make sacrifices to fit in for the team.

"I think we still have to come in kind of like with a selfish mindset," Leonard said.

"Meaning we can't look over our shoulder and say this guy is going to win the game, or this guy's going to win the game for us.

"We still have to step on that floor like we are out there by ourselves, and from there, it is going to be sacrifice. It's only one basketball, and we just got to figure it out from there.

"But I think we all are old enough to understand what we want to do here and we'll see what happens."

The LA Clippers have announced the arrival of guard James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 10-time NBA All-Star guard has been in a dispute with the 76ers and, as a result, has missed their first three games of the NBA season.

The terms of the trade see Harden joined in Los Angeles by 76ers team-mates P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev, while Clippers players Marcus Morris, Nico Batum, Robert Covington and K.J. Martin switch to Philadelphia.

Clippers president Lawrence Frank said: “James is one of the most prolific and efficient playmakers in the NBA.

“With his size and vision, he possesses an extraordinary ability to create for himself and others.

“The Los Angeles area has produced so many elite players in recent years. With Kawhi (Leonard), Paul (George), Russ (Westbrook) and James, we’re excited to bring four of them together, and eager to see what they can accomplish with the rest of our group.”

The Clippers are currently fourth in the Western Conference after winning three of their opening four games.

James Harden is on track to make his Clippers debut on Monday when Los Angeles faces the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday.

Philadelphia agreed to send Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev to Los Angeles on Tuesday in exchange for Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a 2029 pick swap and a first-round pick that can be routed from a third team.

The trade ended the saga between the 76ers and Harden, who in August blasted team president Darly Morey at a promotional event in China.

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of," Harden said. "Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of."

Harden's comments were a response to the 76ers telling Harden's agent that Morey was unable to find a trade for the 2017-18 NBA MVP, and the franchise wouldn't deal him unless it could find a trade that would help Philadelphia contend for a championship.

Harden picked up his $35.6million player option for the 2023-24 season in late June, and then immediately requested a trade.

He could have declined the option and become a free agent but was hoping by exercising his option it would facilitate a trade.

Harden reiterated his stance in early October, saying his relationship with Morey is beyond repair and he still wanted to be traded.

ESPN reported that Harden is delighted to be joining the Clippers, where he will team up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. There will also be a reunion with Russell Westbrook, who Harden played alongside for the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden averaged 21 points, an NBA-best 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds last season.

Russell Westbrook is thrilled to be reuniting with James Harden and P.J. Tucker at the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers are acquiring Harden and Tucker in a blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Filip Petrusev is also joining the Clippers, with Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum and KJ Martin heading the other way.

Harden, who was in attendance as the Clippers beat the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, had been in a dispute with the 76ers, and missed their opening game of the season – a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks – and their second fixture, a win over the Toronto Raptors.

The 10-time All-Star played alongside both Tucker and Westbrook at the Houston Rockets, and the latter, who refused to confirm the trade before it was made official, could not hide his delight.

"Right now, James and P.J. are off-limits. I got nothing for you until it's official," Westbrook smiled, as per ESPN.

Asked if he was happy, Westbrook said: "Yeah. I mean, s***, why wouldn't I be?

"Yeah, excuse my language, but definitely, definitely happy."

As for the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey is set to inherit the point forward role Harden occupied in the roster.

"I think our group has been prepared," Maxey said. "I think we've done a good job of keeping the main thing the main thing, and I think that's what's gotten us all to a solid start.

"We have some really good guys that are focused, that are determined to go out there and play and show what we can do, and [a] coach that's keeping our mind in the right place."

Maxey also had a special word of thanks for his former teammate.

"I texted him and I told him I love him, told him I appreciate him," Maxey added of Harden. "One thing that he really installed in me is confidence. I've always been a confident person, but he made me be even more confident than I already was, and all I can do is appreciate him for that.

"He took me under his wing, taught me a lot of things as far as just being a professional in this league and how things go. So I appreciate him and I love him. Same thing with Tuck. Love those guys."

Philadelphia coach Nick Nurse, meanwhile, seems ready to move on from the Harden drama.

"I got to get ready for Thursday, and I got to coach the guys we got," he told reporters. 

"I really like where we are right now. I mean, there's so much I'm learning about this group. I think there's so much improvement we have to make in a lot of ways, and I'll let Daryl and [76ers general manager Elton Brand] and the boys worry about all that stuff, and I'll coach the guys here on a daily basis."

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