Harden carries the Rockets to a hard-fought win
We’ve all had that feeling before. Golden State can’t miss, their defense is working its special slappy magic. They’re charging ahead, and even their deep bench guys are rolling. It’s looks to be a long night. (And it was, oh, yes.)
The Rockets came out flat, Golden State came out fired up, and firing. The Rockets missed bunnies and open looks, while Golden State shot 64% overall, and 47% from three for the first half. Add to that James Harden took a nasty shot to the chops from Kevon Looney’s elbow and shoulder (though I don’t think it was a foul) and looked a bit confused, confounded, or something starting with “con” anyway.
The full Warrior front-runner show seemed to be in effect, and they went into the half with a 17pt lead.
But as announcers in other countries like to say, it’s a game of two halves.
Propelled by an otherworldly James Harden (44pts/10rebs/15ast) and a relentless Clint Capela(29pts/21rbs), the Rockets refused to die. They’d narrow the margin, get it close, in the third and early fourth quarters, and then Golden State would pull away again. That said, a 39pt third quarter outburst put the Rockets within striking distance
Despite only surrendering 21pts to the Warriors in the 4th, it took a last second, double covered, Harden three pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The Rockets looked set to take over in the OT, but for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me that didn’t happen. I could go on an extended rant about seven points effectively gifted Golden State in overtime. And their last two points certainly were. ( If you choose not to see it, my writing about it will change nothing.)
But that didn’t matter.
With two men on him, time running out, down by two, James Harden drained a three pointer (and got fouled by Draymond Green just ask several NBA players on other teams who tweeted immediately after the shot).
Despite everything, the Rockets fought back and won, and James Harden carried them.
PS - Can all the Rockets go get the Technical Foul Vaccine that Draymond invented? His multiple histrionics, Shakespearean death scenes would be hilarious, if they were ever called.