James Harden teamed up with new teammate Chris Paul at the Drew League on Sunday, and the duo played spectacularly, giving fans a taste of what’s to come.
The Los Angeles Clippers traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets for a king’s ransom, and the move was one of the offseason’s biggest. On Sunday, James Harden and CP3 joined forces on the Drew League’s LA Unified squad.
Their matchup was against the Hometown Favorites, which featured newest Knick Tim Hardaway, second-round steal Jordan Bell and former NBAer Dorell Wright. The Drew is the biggest Pro-Am league in the world, and it’s a hotbed for highlights — ankle breakers, violent dunks, you name it. Both current and former NBA players often compete, and they’re sometimes joined by the elite college and high school hoopers. To boot, some entertainers make appearances; The Game and Chris Brown are two of the biggest-named celebrities to play.
As expected, Paul and Harden put on dribbling clinic after dribbling clinic, complete with long-range bombs and a budding chemistry that should have Rockets fans salivating at what their backcourt can do.
Harden finished with 27 points and 12 boards; Paul tallied 13 points and 10 assists. LAU eeked out the 83-81 victory. (Unfortunately, Russell Westbrook got an invite but didn’t show up. He instead spent the afternoon at Disney with his family, which qualifies as a valid reason not to play.)
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According to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, commissioner Dino Smiley was thrilled with how the night turned out. “There was a lot of energy,” Smiley said. “It was draining, intense and unbelievable to have NBA stars on the field. It was fantastic, a great evening.”
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