While it didn’t break out into a full-blown fight, tensions were high during Monday night’s Rockets-Grizzlies game. At one point in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 88, Houston guard James Harden and Memphis guard Mario Chalmers came very close to a fight with one another while the Grizzlies were on a lengthy run.
Harden was trying to set a screen for Eric Gordon, but was being hounded by forward James Ennis. Nothing illegal, Ennis was just being really physical and it was very obviously getting under Harden’s skin.
But eventually, Harden was able to set a pick on Chalmers to give Gordon some room to work. He got a little too into the screen, though, and sent Chalmers to the floor, which led to Chalmers trying to trip Harden and Harden shoving the former NBA champion to the floor as he tried to get up.
Harden didn’t have his best game — he went 8-for-20 from the field and scored 22 points in a 98-90 loss — but he still lost his cool here. As did Chalmers, although he also took a shoulder to the chest from Harden that sent him to the floor, so it makes sense that he was a little upset with how things went down prior to his altercation with the MVP hopeful.