With under 10 seconds remaining in regulation Sunday night, and the Rockets still trailing by three after Portland led each of the first three quarters, James Harden cut diagonally from top of the free throw circle into the near corner. He planted his feet, caught the inbounds pass and let fly a three-pointer that rattled home to tie the score and cement Houston’s comeback by forcing overtime against their Western Conference rival Trail Blazers.
Neither Houston or Portland shot the ball particularly well, but while the Blazers faltered down the stretch, Houston came into its own, and no one was better than Harden when it counted.
In overtime, after Harden’s dramatics to end regulation, Jeremy Lin scored six of Houston’s 12 points and the Rockets won 118-113 to take the season series 3-1 in a possible preview of a playoff matchup this April and May.
For the game, Harden finished with 41 on an inefficient 12-for-28 shooting, but he hit another game-tying three-pointer with 1:56 left in OT:
Harden didn’t shoot particularly well, but his attacks at the rim fueled Houston when they were trailing by double-digits in the fourth.
After Harden knotted the game at 113 in OT, a fadeaway jumper by Lin and some free throws by Lin and Dwight Howard, won it at the end, but Harden was the Rocket that put them in position to eek out the victory at home. Also, Patrick Beverley‘s defensive antics helped lead to Damian Lillard fouling out with more than three and a half minutes remaining in OT, assuring the Rockets they wouldn’t need to stop the All-Star in the final minutes.
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