PHILADELPHIA (AP) - James Harden sank the overtime 3-pointer that sent the 76ers to a playoff victory and immediately swooned over John Howe, a paralyzed Michigan State shooting survivor who developed a long-distance FaceTime bond with Philadelphia's star guard.

Harden had just scored 42 points, removed his sneakers, signed them and gave them to his new friend.

"He brought me good vibes, good energy," Harden said. Hao was all smiles as he watched from the court, a much-needed break from rehab for the international student from China, who attended Game 4 as Harden's guest.

Before the game, Harden leaned into Howe and received a small pat on the back before resuming his pregame drills.

"You look good," Harden told Howe. Howe, 20, and his parents were invited by Harden to attend a 76ers game once he was available to travel.

Howe recently left a rehabilitation facility in Chicago where he has been since the February shooting spree on the East Lansing campus that killed three students and wounded five others.

Howe wore Harden's No. 1 Sixers jersey and attended the game with his parents. Howe's father also wore a Harden jersey and posed for pictures as the 76ers warmed up behind him.

Harden learned after the shooting that Howe was a fan and donated sneakers, money, and then called the student to offer encouragement.

"I know it's tough right now, just have to be strong mentally," Harden said in a video call in February. “Just think about positive things and keep pushing. Keep fighting. I got you."