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Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 9:50 am  |  20 responses

James Harden Hits Winning Shot Over Austin Rivers (VIDEO)

The Beard breaks the tie.

After a slight push-off to create separation sent Austin Rivers stumbling backwards, James Harden drilled the decisive basket in the Houston Rockets’ 103-100 road win in New Orleans. Harden finished with a team-high 26 points.

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  • Will Lee

    A real ankle break, not e tripped type.

  • Dfrance

    Austin just lost his balance, he barely touched him.

  • TRUTH

    Is Rivers looking for a foul? LOL. You didn’t get touched, just shooked. But on another note, they might as well call Pierre Jackson up from the D-League. I heard he’s been balling down there and it can’t get any worse for the Pelicans. AD need some CONSISTENT scorers to help him out. Once that’s fixed, he got the rebounds, blocks, and putbacks.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Damn Austin got froze on that step back. Hit em with the flex!

  • Markus437

    I remember when I was mad the raptors picked Terrence Ross over Austin rivers back in the 2012 draft. Now? Not so much. Proof that amazing high school mixtapes doesn’t necessarily mean your gonna be a good player

  • Jordan Naval

    umm the push off was evident. i guess its a legit move in the nba though. he can push you when they have the ball. but cant push a player with the ball. nba sucks.

  • Jordan Naval

    smh harden… fooling refs is all you got. hand touches austin while backing up. austin immediately buckles. not a fair play. dirty move by harden.

  • spit hot fiyah

    u are joking right. he hardly touched him. rivers is just acting like bambi on this play

  • Lloyd

    More like a “touch off”. If you call that, may as well call Rivers for those two weak hand checks when Harden first caught the ball.

    Don’t be mad at Harden. Be mad at whoever left the backdoor open. I mean Rivers couldn’t have fallen out if that irresponsible individual had closed it you know?

  • Daniel Noel

    wow! smh…

  • Jordan Naval

    def a no call.. but still a dirty play. hardens face says it all. he knows he can do those plays for a game winner. a slight push on a guys hip when hes getting low will make a big difference to a guy trying to guard a guy like harden. again its a nba all star type play. wouldnt get away with it in ncaa.

  • gegu

    I remember when this kid got so highhhhh and said he cant wait to distroying lbj and he gets to meet lbj and thats when the boy knew were he belong.

  • Lloyd

    There’s no push. Watch the last two angles. At most you can say Austin Rivers got surprised by Harden
    touching him and stumbled. That’s on Rivers.

    There are no “dirty plays” that should be no calls.

  • Jordan Naval

    well in the nba there are unwritten rules. and dirty plays dont get called in late game situation when it involves an allstar against a nobody. and answer me this. harden touched him? on the waist ? quickly and discreetly? not much of a celebration? he knows what he did. he knows it was dirty. thats his game. decieving refs is his game. clear push off. a lebron type move.

  • Lloyd

    The unwritten rules is that refs don’t call ticky tack fouls late in game because they don’t want to affect the outcome. There needs to be a blatant foul for most refs to blow the whistle (i.e. a dirty play).

    Push offs are quick or discreet. You need to put your whole hand on the defender and shove them away from you. It’s obvious there was a push when someone pushes off. Rivers just tripped up on his own ankles because he wasn’t ready for a step back.

    Did you expect him to take his jersey off, throw it in the crowd, and run into the locker room? There’s 28 seconds left…plenty of game. Why would he do some elaborate celebration? And the absence of this celebration you assume should happen is the proof of guilt? By that logic, anytime anyone doesn’t celebrate a big shot, they did something wrong.

    Harden’s “deception” of the refs extends to flopping. Flopping isn’t dirty. He’s not known as a dirty player. He is, however, known to be extremely gifted offensively. Gifted enough to drop a player with an incredible step back.

  • Jordan Naval

    i can agree with you. but what initially caught my attention was the push off. the only thing i can disagree with is that you a push off doesnt need to be a shove. i also believe it was more of a push then it may have looked. it def affected his ability to recover from the step back. sometimes its obvious. this time it wasnt. but it was pretty cheap.

  • Lloyd

    The definition of a “push off” is shoving the other player away to make space. You need to shove them otherwise they’re not moving and you’re not getting space. These are professional grown men athletes. They’re not going to drop for anything less.

    Is Harden known for being deceptively strong? His touch isn’t going to send anyone flying.

    What affected his ability to recover from the step back is looking to the refs for a call on the touch rather than trying to get back and contest.

  • Jordan Naval

    the only thing controversal was how hard he “touched” him. and what looks slight to some. i believe it was hard enough to cause him to buckle, in conjuction with his great ability. when ur momentum is going backwards. a hard shove isnt needed. in conclusion is think harden using his hand on the hip was a cheap move. slight or hard. it affected the defenders ability to recover.

  • Lloyd

    you’re seeing something that’s not there brother. Dude may have been surprised by the touch which may have affected him, but tripping over his own ankles was a direct result of trying to stop back peddling to try and match Harden’s quick stop and step back. His recovery to try to contest was non-existent because he looked around with his hands up to the refs while Harden calmly knocked down a practice jumper instead. This play is as dirty as not having complete verticality on a shot contest.

  • Jordan Naval

    i dont really see any reason to put your hand on a defender other than to push him away. just like in this play. just like lebron does on any contested fast break. cheap move that nba allows to superstars. helps guarantee highlights. and putting all arguments aside. just watching the replay. real time,slow motion and diff angles. put bias aside as well. there was a push off. and it wasnt barely a touch. his palm on his hip. not just his fingertips. the faces and reaction from both players says it all to me.

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