James Harden Beats San Antonio Spurs With Game-Winner (VIDEO)
The Beard comes through in the clutch.
With a clutch leaning jumper, James Harden ensured a close Houston Rockets victory against the visiting San Antonio Spurs. Harden finished with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Afterwards, the grumpy Spurs discussed the wrenching loss. Per the Express-News: “In Rockets guard James Harden, they were getting a singular foe who has made a living, not to mention tens of millions of dollars, with his ability to get to the free-throw line. That foreknowledge would be of little comfort a few hours later, when the Spurs left Houston saddled with a 96-95 loss made possible in part by Harden’s 17 visits to the foul stripe. ‘Give him a lot of credit, he played well tonight,’ Tim Duncan said. ‘I don’t think he earned 17 free throws. I think we had a couple in there that were missed calls.’ Harden finished with 29 points, 15 of which came from the foul line. [...] By night’s end, Harden had gone to the charity stripe more times than any Spurs opponent this season. The previous high was 11, shared by the Oklahoma City duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and Indiana’s David West. ‘He was aggressive with it,’ Duncan said. ‘He took shots and made (officials) make calls and kept them right in the game.’ [...] ‘It was a hard-fought game,’ said Manu Ginobili, who was 1 of 6 for three points and missed a putback at the buzzer. ‘It felt like a playoff one.’ Before the game, the Spurs talked about limiting Harden’s free-throw tries. He was averaging a league-best 10.3 per game, a number the Spurs aimed to keep him from reaching. ‘That didn’t work out very well,’ Gregg Popovich said.”