That is what James Harden brings to the table — elite level scoring. He can flat out knock it down.
That three gave Harden 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Rockets came from 13 back to force overtime on the shot above, then in OT Harden and Jeremy Lin (9 points in the fourth, six in OT) pushed Houston to a 118-113 win over Portland. Harden finished the night with 41 points, Lin added 26.
Houston again largely did it with offense over defense (the Trail Blazers still had an offensive rating of 103.2 points per 100 possessions) — actually they really did it with threes. Houston started the game 4-of-19 from three and nothing seemed to fall, but they made 5-of-10 3-from beyond the arc to close out the game and close up the gap the Trail Blazers had made.
This week the Rockets beat the Heat, Pacers and now Trail Blazers — they have passed this test with flying colors and look every bit the contender in the West.
Portland faced another tough loss — early in the season these close games went their way, but things have a way of leveling out. LaMarcus Aldridge had another big game with 28 points, 12 rebounds, Wesley Matthews added 26 points and Damian Lillard had 21 points despite a night of foul trouble.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.
Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.
But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.
Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.
Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?