James Harden was an absolute monster against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Beard exploded for a career-high 46 points on his old squad, a performance that included multiple, filthy buckets in defenders’ faces down the stretch.
Here’s how we led off today’s Smack, it sums up the Harden Show pretty nicely:
When Houston traded for James Harden, they were hoping, maybe even believing that they were getting a star. But we’re not sure anyone thought they were getting this. In Houston’s wild 122-119 comeback win over the Thunder, Harden not only had a defining “So I’m not a max player, huh?” game, he looked like the best player on the floor. Down 14 with only seven minutes to go, the Rockets rode Harden and Jeremy Lin (29 points, eight assists) the rest of the way. The game-deciding sequence began with a Lin floater. Then, Harden tied it with a stepback three on a switch against Serge Ibaka. On the following possession, Lin canned another triple. Harden then put the same move on Reggie Jackson, and made another stepback. A few minutes later, Harden finally used the dribble to go to the glass, and the sequence ended up in yet another Lin three-pointer. Harden scored 16 of his 46 in the fourth quarter, and started getting MVP chants in Houston for the first time since Mario Elie, Robert Horry and Sam Cassell were making big shots and The Dream was serving up repeated servings of “grilled center” in the paint.
Watch this video for the best of Harden’s performance. The business he gives Serge Ibaka at the end is just so nasty:
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