During Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Rockets and Clippers, James Harden had scored 16 points through the first three quarters. But his 16-point eruption in the final session led the Rockets to the win, tying the series at 1-1.
Perhaps an insult uttered by Matt Barnes, facilitated Harden’s final stretch? It’s pure speculation, but after the game TMZ reports Barnes apologized to Harden’s mom, Monja Willis, for a comment he made during the game:
Monja Willis wouldn’t tell us exactly what Barnes said to her at the Toyota Center in Houston during Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals … saying, “We’ll leave that on the court.”
What we do know … Matt’s comment really pissed off one of Monja’s other sons — who was sitting next to her during the game and heard it … and confronted Barnes after the final buzzer.
Willis tells us … “My older son walked over to him and told him to apologize … and he did.”
Monja says, “What he told me was that he would never want to disrespect anyone’s mother because his mother passed from cancer … and that he was sorry.”
“I accept his apology.”
Towards the end of the first quarter, a hard foul Barnes laid on Harden led to the pair bumping after the play, which resulted in a technical for Barnes:
Regardless of whether that’s what Barnes said to Willis, talking junk is part of the game, but directly involving a player’s mom is out of line.