Friday, May 20th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  34 responses

James Harden: ‘I Just Had Confidence in My Jump Shot’

Harden’s offensive breakout is one of the main reasons the OKC Thunder are headed home with the Western Conference Finals all evened up against the Dallas Mavericks. From The Oklahoman: “James Harden was looking for Kevin Durant. What he saw instead in the final seconds of the third quarter Thursday night was a shot clock running dangerously low. With Jason Terry backing off him ever so slightly, the Thunder shooting guard made a decision. Shoot it. ‘I just tried to make a play,’ Harden said. He made a big one. Harden not only stuck the 3-pointer but also converted a four-point play after he was fouled. It gave the Thunder a lead heading into the fourth quarter, a lead it never relinquished. Thunder 106, Mavs 100 … Russell Westbrook was that yin to Durant’s yang during the first three quarters, scoring 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting, but after a late third-quarter turnover, the point guard exchanged words with Thunder coach Scott Brooks. He didn’t return to the game. No doubt part of that was because the Thunder B Team plus Durant was playing so well. Why mess up the rhythm? Why screw with a good thing? But as much as anything, the decision to leave Westbrook on the bench was about Harden. He provided that second scoring option and take pressure off Durant. Harden hit 4 of 5 shots and scored 10 points in the decisive fourth quarter. He finished with 23 points, second only to Durant’s 24 points, but he did a lot more than score. Harden came within one point of leading the Thunder in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals … ‘I just had confidence in my jump shot,’ Harden said. ‘I had so much space I wanted to just rise up and shoot it and hold my follow through.’”

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  • kh

    Big Game James!
    I love this dudes game.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Yeah, and you had Mr. Useless unless he’s taking wide open jumpers aka Jason Terry “guarding” you.
    Seriously how can Jason Kidd, at his age and with his mileage, effectively hold his ground against Kobe in one round, then in the 4th last night against KD but Terry is stumbling around out there?
    i would be ashamed if the 38 year old was sacrificing his body out there to defend while i’m just interested in offense.
    My least favorite player on my favorite team, ever.

  • r2j

    24 and 7. Best game of his young career.

  • flash

    fear the beard!

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    i don’t know if i’d say best, but certainly the most important performance of his career.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    Hairy Harden doing work! Can’t wait to see how dude does next year.

  • Jono

    This performance should shut all the critics up, esp those who said the Thunder should’ve selected Tyreke, Jennings or Steph Curry over him. He’s perfect for OKC and is probably the best scorer off the bench left in the postseason. So happy for this dude!

  • Chuck

    I have maintained that JH is a left handed, bearded, black John Havlicek. That is an ultimate compliment. Would like to see him lose a few pounds but he has got a game and at many positions. He just has a feel which hopefully will rub off on RW.

  • bike

    Great game James. but lose the beard. It makes you look jihadst.

  • robb

    da beard

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    nothing like a role player that doesn’t talk but will do the work.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Black Galifinakis

  • bike

    James deserves a nickname. “Allah’,'Holy War’,'The Terrorist’(no, strike that one),’Le Jihad’, and ‘Grenade Launcher’ come to mind.

  • Riggs

    @bike: Please dont start bring your ignorance on here.

  • Riggs


  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Bike is the reason why getting all your global news from FOX news is a bad thing.

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    Harden was always solid, he just needed the playing time to show it.

  • http://slamonline.com Waylonakolipse

    I always thought Harden has as much, or more, potential than Westbrook.

  • bike

    How about James ‘Le Barbiche” Harden?

  • JTaylor21

    Osama Bin Haden was at it again.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    Ignorance is a hell of a drug.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    @bike …shut up, and stop watching glenn beck, Also I like black ghalifinakis…or black havelicek

  • bike

    I hate Glenn Beck and FOX news BTW. Levity folks, levity. This is basketball, not cancer research or world peace politics.

  • Will

    I wish I could grow a beard like that

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^me too

  • Ryan

    I’ve got a nice beard of my own but James Harden’s beard is awesome. It’s great to see a little variety in the NBA and even if he were an average dude it’d be a great beard. I think the terrorist comparisons are idiotic but why not a favorable comparison, like the Sheikh or Jedi?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZKZ-KmR5Qw Max

    Old school game.

  • OvaChicken

    !! A.S.U. BABY !!

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    The most interesting man in the wolrd also wishes he had Harden’s beard.

  • http://dude Chukaz

    If james harden was 2 inches taller and his body fat % was like 2 points lower, he’d be the 3rd best 2 guard in the league. I know he doesn’t start but between westbrook harden and durant, the thunder have probably the best pg, sg, sf combo in a long time. They are like the piston’s from a few years back with billups, rip, and prince, but wwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy better

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Harden is awesome. And his nick name should be Baron Arenas. Or Gilbert Davis. He looks like exactly like a mix between those two guys–Baron’s physique/beard and Gilbert’s eyes.

  • M_Chio
  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    One nice thing about Slamonline, u try to “youtube” the comment section with inflammatory, bigoted or plain ignorant statements: you’ll get put in your place.
    Latest example: bike.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ROFL @ M Cho! ahahaha