The Houston Rockets entered Game 4 needing an MVP-caliber performance from superstar shooting guard James Harden to have a chance of getting even with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals. A couple of early-game hiccups aside, Harden has answered the call in Tuesday’s first half, scoring 22 of the Rockets’ first 37 points … including two incredibly loud ones, directly in the mug of Golden State’s famously fiery rim protector:
Credit to Draymond Green for doing his level best to do his job, rotating off P.J. Tucker in the right corner to try to clean up the mess created when Harden blew past both the initial defense of switched-on center Kevon Looney and the half-hearted help of nearest teammate Stephen Curry, and for making Harden pay for his foray into the paint with a hard foul that landed the likely 2017-18 Most Valuable Player on his hind parts along the baseline. But … I mean … damn, James.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) May 23, 2018
OMG. That is the best dunk of Harden's career.
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) May 23, 2018
That's without a doubt the hardest Draymond has ever been banged on
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 23, 2018
The Warriors may well wind up holding serve on Tuesday and heading to Houston with a chance to close the Rockets out in Game 5. But with one drive and a thunderous left-handed tomahawk, Harden at least served notice that if the Rockets were going to go down, he was going to go down swinging.
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