James Harden Does Whatever He Wants Against The Lakers; LeBron Loses A Battle With A Future Star

01.08.13 5 years ago 4 Comments
James Harden

If you were busy trying to breakdown Mike D’Antoni‘s gameplan, which consisted of the coach determining subs by using “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” you might’ve missed out on James Harden. He was only the best player on the floor by a mile in Houston’s 125-112 thrashing of the sinking Lakers, doing whatever he wanted on his way to 31 points, six rebounds and nine assists. He was everywhere in the second half, throwing bounce passes through legs, hitting deep jumpers, drawing fouls on the break and leading the 18-2 Rocket burst in the third that put this one away. His favorite pet play has to be the baseline backdoor cut. It almost always ends up with someone getting jammed on. He did it again last night near the end of the third quarter, crowning Robert Sacre and getting a foul in the process. The Houston broadcast serenaded it with the first “Yahtzee!” call we’ve heard since Stu Scott was hosting SportsCenter … The Lakers held the lead for most of the first half, as Sacre was playing like a crazed, drugged animal. Really, the whole team showed the benefits of actually playing hard. They just couldn’t keep the pace up. Kobe (20 points) can’t carry them anymore – back in the day, if you had used Jeremy Lin (19 points, four steals) as a primary defender on him – with virtually no help – the Mamba would’ve destroyed him … Last night, Steve Nash (10 assists) became just the fifth player ever to dish out 10,000 career assists. Where does he rank with Stockton, Kidd, Magic and Mark Jackson? … The Nets’ 20-point win in Philly quickly escalated into a game of “can you top this?” between Deron Williams (22 points) and Jrue Holiday (19 points, eight assists). The Nets point dropped eight early points, making a couple jumpers for like the first time since they moved to Brooklyn. On the other side, Holiday could’ve petitioned for a raise after the first 12 minutes. He scored or assisted on all 24 of his team’s first quarter points. Dude’s game is so smooth and under control. Holiday must have one of the top five pull-up jumpers in the league, at least in terms of watchability. Kobe owns that category, but we’d put Holiday up there along with Rudy Gay, Stephen Curry and Carmelo Anthony … As the half went on, Holiday continued to school everyone who stepped to him, but Williams slowed. In the final minutes of the first half, Williams had a brain fart and messed up the foul situation, giving one and putting Holiday on the line. Then just seconds later, he threw a behind-the-back pass that was so bad it nearly took out the usher in the 10th row. Sixers’ broadcaster Malik Rose was shellshocked, and desperately needed someone to tell him what is wrong with the former second-best point guard in the league. Don’t worry, Malik. You’re not alone. Williams did recover to make shots in the third quarter, and it was a wrap from there … Reggie Evans had a career-high 23 rebounds with three minutes still remaining in the third quarter. At the time, that was more than the Sixers’ entire team … Keep reading to hear about the next big star in the Eastern Conference …

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