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.