In a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets had an awe-inspiring comeback that was topped off by a James Harden triple to win the game in overtime 135-134.
The Warriors started hot, with seven of their first nine points credited to an unlikely source in Kevon Looney.
Despite 12 turnovers, the Warriors shot lights-out for the entire first half and led 70-53 at the break.
It was a rare third quarter drought for Golden State that allowed Houston to get back within striking distance. Reigning MVP James Harden led his group to a 39-point third quarter, and it was all Houston after that.
Harden ended the night with a staggering 44 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 dimes. He has now dropped 30 or more in 11 straight outings, and at least 40 in the last five.
The 6-foot-5 guard hit the two biggest shots of the evening, one that sent the game into overtime and this one that sent the Warriors fans home in shock.
James Harden shuts it down. pic.twitter.com/3vwdkOaK9u
— NC Views (@ViewsNc) January 4, 2019
He wasn’t the only Rocket that took off, though. Clint Capela continued his breakout season, finishing with 29 points and 21 boards. Similarly, Austin Rivers proved his worth once again with 18 points in his fifth game since being traded to Houston.
It seemed like, despite these great performances, Golden State would be able to ride what was at one instance a 20-point lead to victory. Late in the fourth quarter, they clung to a one-possession lead and the Rockets came up empty-handed time and time again.
Then, in the closing minute of regulation, Houston finally broke through. They went on a 6-0 run and tied the game at 119.
Overtime featured five lead changes and one blatant missed call that gave Golden State a crucial two-point lead.
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson combined for 87 points in a losing effort, but the bigger story is Harden. There is simply no stopping him right now.
Tonight’s contest was the second time this season that Houston had the upper hand over Golden State, who was run out of Houston’s building by the Rockets on Nov. 15, losing 107-86. The two groups will face off twice more this season, once on Feb. 23 and the final game coming on March 13.