Harden's 21 assists tie Wilt, Cheeks' 76ers record

by Gordon Dixon - James Harden's career-high 21 assists tied Wilt Chamberlain and Maurice Cheeks for the 76ers franchise record and Philadelphia overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to beat the Clippers on Friday night.

James Harden's career-high 21 assists tie 76ers franchise record 10:32 PM ET ESPN News Services PHILADELPHIA -- Joel Embiid scored 44 points, James Harden had a career-high 21 assists in a triple-double and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to beat the LA Clippers 119-114 on Friday night. Harden also had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help Philadelphia sweep a seven-game homestand and improve to 19-12. Harden tied Wilt Chamberlain and Maurice Cheeks for the franchise game assist record, and also joined Chamberlain (1968 against the Pistons) as the second player in 76ers history with 20 points and 20 assists in a game. He is also the first player with 20 points and 20 assists in a game this season. Harden's previous career high for assists was 17, accomplished 10 times. Not Just Any Triple-Double James Harden is the ninth player in NBA history with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 20 assists in a game, joining ... Russell Westbrook 5 times Magic Johnson 3 times Oscar Robertson 3 times Guy Rodgers 10/18/1966 Wilt Chamberlain 2/2/1968 Isiah Thomas 2/7/1985 Rod Strickland 2/10/1998 Luka Doncic 5/1/2021 Eleven of Harden's assists went to Embiid, tied for his most to a single player in any game in his career. Embiid and Harden are the third pair of teammates over the last 25 seasons to have one player go for 40 points and another go for 20 assists. They join Paul George and Russell Westbrook in 2018 and DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo in 2016. Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers took a timeout after Nicolas Batum 's 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 108-107 lead with four minutes left. The 76ers then had a 10-0 run. Kawhi Leonard had 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting for Los Angeles. Paul George added 22 points and Norman Powell had 21. The 76ers limited George to five points in the second half, led by a standout performance from De'Anthony Melton . Before the game, Rivers said Tyrese Maxey is getting close to returning from a fracture in his left foot that has kept him out since Nov. 18. ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.