James Harden hit a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left in overtime on Thursday night and finished with his second triple-double of the week and fifth straight 40-point game. In doing so, Harden rallied the Houston Rockets past the Golden State Warriors 135-134 in a thriller between Western Conference powers for their sixth straight victory. Kevin Durant’s long three-pointer missed as the buzzer sounded in what was a rematch of last season’s seven-game Western Conference finals, which was won by Golden State.
Stephen Curry put the Warriors ahead with 23.1 seconds remaining in OT on the way to 35 points. But the basket shouldn’t have counted because Durant was clearly out of bounds when he flung the ball back in. Harden, however, had one more improbable, acrobatic moment still in him. He released the ball with at least four hands in his face for the game-winner, a shot that Golden State coach Steve Kerr described as “impossible” after the game. The reigning MVP finished with 44 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. Including his 50-point game against the Lakers on 13 December Harden has scored at least 30 in 11 straight. “I don’t know where it ranks but I’m just happy to come away with the win,” Harden said. “I just had to go out and do my part on the highest level.”
The Warriors had held a 20-point lead at one point in the second-half, and the loss frustrated Curry. “You have a lead like that, you don’t lose at home,” he said. “[There were] slow rotations or just a little laziness with that lead. But you have a lead like that, it’s a tough way to go out.”
The Warriors have now lost three straight games at home but Klay Thompson said he was not worried about his team’s form. “It’s a different year than it has [been] in the past,” he said. “Although we are not blowing teams out, we are still 11 games above .500 with a chance to go on a run here before All-Star break. It’s not the end of the world.”