The Rockets and Bucks met on Wednesday night in Houston for a matchup between two of the NBA’s hottest teams. The Bucks have the fewest losses in the league at 28-11 and, while 23-16, the Rockets have been on fire of late behind the play of James Harden.
Harden and Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo are widely regarded as the two top MVP candidates in the league this season, so the matchup offered a chance to see those two square off in what could be, even if unlikely, a Finals preview.
Giannis took the “head-to-head” stuff a bit too literally, however, as he plunked poor Harden in the head with a pass in the fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo was trying to go cross-court to Malcolm Brogdon in the corner out of the post and wound up to throw a hard pass, but Harden, who was sinking off Brogdon, happened to be directly in the way.
Harden was taken to the floor by the pass, but stayed in the game and didn’t seem any worse for wear, aside form what is assuredly some face/head pain. The pass even ricocheted back to Giannis, as the Bucks continued play while Harden shook off the cobwebs and picked him self up off the floor.