AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

James Harden thought he and the Brooklyn Nets made a statement in Wednesday’s 138-112 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Harden told reporters it was a clear example of what Brooklyn can do with him, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the court:

“We’re that good. We got a chance to be that good. We just haven’t had enough of it. I think last year we probably had 15 games maybe together, a little more, a little less. And this year only two. We haven’t had a real bulk of a season—y’all can consistently see how great we can be. And we’re working on that. We need to get to that point.”

Injuries prevented the Nets’ three best players from sharing the floor together with much frequency last season. According to NBA.com, they played 202 combined minutes over eight games in the regular season.

Irving has been absent for the majority of this year because of his COVID-19 vaccination status. Wednesday was just his third appearance.

The seven-time All-Star is still playing his way back into game form. He had nine points, four rebounds and three assists against the Bulls.

Harden, meanwhile, had a double-double (25 points and 16 assists), and Durant dropped a game-high 27 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He was one assist short of a double-double himself.

For now, Brooklyn is still 1.5 games back of the Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference. But there’s a reason why the Nets are the betting favorites (+260) at FanDuel to win the 2022 NBA Finals.


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