James Harden explodes for 51 points in win against 76ers

James Harden certainly looked a lot like the NBA’s next MVP Friday night while leading the Rockets to a thrilling 123-118 win on the road against the 76ers.

Harden scored an incredible 51 points on 16 of 28 shooting from the field, 6 of 11 shooting from beyond the arc and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line. He finished the incredibly efficient game with 13 assists and 13 rebounds.

At this point, though, the Cavs are on the trade train. Lowe reports Cleveland wants a big return in any Irving deal, most importantly a “blue-chip young player.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who initially broke the news of Irving’s request, doesn’t see Irving wearing a Cavs uniform much longer.

“I don’t think they can (keep Irving),” Windhorst said during an appearance on “SportsCenter.” “Kyrie told Dan Gilbert when they sat down he didn’t want to play with LeBron anymore. LeBron knows that, and I don’t think there’s any coming back. So, eventually, I think the Cavs will trade Kyrie Irving.”

Well, in that case… back to the Trade Machine!

On the other hand, LeBron sees what’s on the court and likely is convinced it isn’t good enough to hang with the Warriors or Spurs in the NBA Finals — maybe not even good enough to hold onto the top seed in the East over the Raptors and Celtics. Cleveland is 30-13 this season, but leads Toronto by just three games and Boston by 4 1/2 heading into Wednesday’s action. Will that concern force Griffin into rushing a move to appease his superstar?t_rangers_046-115x115

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