James Harden Sealed A Rockets Game 7 Win With A Block Of Luguentz Dort

Game 7 of the Thunder-Rockets series was as thrilling at the end as Tuesday night’s Nuggets-Jazz game, as both teams scrambled to get across the finish line with a win.

There were flops, more missed layups than one could imagine possible, and even a clutch James Harden defensive play to save the Rockets in the final seconds. The Thunder had a great opportunity to take the lead on the final possession after the Rockets were unable to extend their lead on their last possession, but Houston played terrific defense on Chris Paul to force the ball out of his hands and it eventually landed in those of Luguentz Dort, who had a career shooting night with 30 points, but his final three was blocked by a tremendous closeout from Harden.

Robert Covington would split a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining, leaving a glimmer of hope for the Thunder, who after a bizarre series of events, ended up throwing an inbounds to Steven Adams at the three-point line for reasons passing understanding, failing to even get so much as a shot at a win or a tie. That gave Houston a 104-102 win to advance to the second round.

The execution offensively for both teams was dreadful down the stretch, as happens in Game 7s, and Harden was rather awful on that end with 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting, as Dort gave him issues all night on offense — in his own words after the game, he played “like sh*t.”

However, he was able to avoid The Discourse, at least for another week-plus about his performances in big games thanks to that heroic defensive effort, and as such, the Rockets are on to the second round for a showdown with the Lakers.