Jermaine O’Neal’s Game-Saving Block & The Crazy OT Ending To Rockets-Warriors

By: 02.21.14
Jermaine O'Neal, Chandler Parsons

Jermaine O’Neal, Chandler Parsons (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

What is it about the Rockets and Warriors? We guess it’s their high octane offenses that make both these teams so aesthetically pleasing for League Pass subscribers and casual fans alike. But last night’s late game on the back end of a TNT doubleheader was anything but a scoring bonanza. Still, while the 102-99 Dubs win in overtime featured some shoddy shooting, it also gave us three huge plays that made staying up late totally worth this morning’s sleep-deprived crankiness.

It all started with James Harden taking over in the second half for a Rockets team that shot just 36 percent on the night. Thankfully, Harden was 14-of-27 from the floor for a game-high 39 points. Aside from Chandler Parson‘s 21, Harden was the only Rockets player to step up at Oracle Arena (Dwight Howard, with 11, was the only other Rocket to even crack double-figures in the overtime game). Never was the Beard’s mastery more apparent than with the clock ticking under 10 seconds left in regulation, and the game knotted at 87.

Harden iso’d at the top of the key against a very good defender in Klay Thompson. He drove left like he was going to take it to the bucket — as he’d been doing a lot during his crazy 30-point second half — before stepping back with a reverse between-the-legs dribble. He nailed the step-back jumper and turned to the ROARacle crowd to say a few words.

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But the shot clock forced him to leave more than six-seconds left in the game, plenty of time for the Splash Brothers.

On the ensuing inbounds, Stephen Curry ran Chandler Parsons off a gauntlet of screens as he came towards the ball on the sidelines. Once he received the pass, he didn’t hesitate to drive towards the paint and the imposing Dwight. Curry flipped an off-hand floater over Howard that glanced off the glass before rolling precariously around the rim and dropping through. It tied the game at 89 with just three seconds left.

Harden missed an open look at a game-winning three-pointer as regulation time expired, and the team’s headed to OT, where things got even more frenetic at the end.

Click to see what happened in OT…

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