James Harden Scores 44 Points, Hits Game-Winning Shot Vs. Warriors [VIDEO]
James Harden is in the middle of a run that harkens back to some of the all-time greats, including Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. It’s led to the Houston Rockets guard being called “the best offensive player of all time” and the next evolution of the NBA. It’s also led to a 135-134 overtime win against the back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors.
With mere seconds left and down by two, Harden hit a game-winning three-pointer. The shot came just after the Warriors took a lead on a crucial no-call on Kevin Durant. Durant’s foot was obviously out of bounds when he saved the team from turning over the ball. After the game, the Golden State wing said, “The refs were missing a lot tonight. You can easily fool them.”
Harden would finish the night with 44 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, and his second 40-point triple-double in as many games. The star, famous for his ability to get to the free throw line, only shot nine free throw attempts. Without Chris Paul or Eric Gordon, Harden has carried the team off of three-pointers and layups. “He can get any shot he wants,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of Harden after the game. “His threat is getting to the rim any time he wants. It’s tough. Obviously, I don’t think we’ve seen the likes of this offense and the explosion he has.”
Though Harden missed two of his best teammates, Clint Capela added 29 points and 21 rebounds. Austin Rivers, who was picked off the scrapheap by Houston’s front office, also kicked in 18 points. The Rockets have gone 5-0 since he first joined the team.
The Warriors, in a down season but still only a game and a half out of first, have lacked contributions from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. It didn’t help that Durant got off to a slow start but eventually he added 26 points on 23 shots. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 35 points in the loss.