Rockets’ James Harden can’t explain why he was so quiet down stretch of Game 5 loss to Warriors
The Houston Rockets let one get away at Oracle Arena on Wednesday, as the Golden State Warriors looked as vulnerable as they could be with Kevin Durant leaving for the last two minutes of the third quarter and not returning for the rest of the game. With the score knotted up at 72 at the end of the third period, James Harden, who led all scorers with 31 points, managed to take only one shot in the last eight minutes and 30 seconds of regulation, potentially costing the Houston Rockets the game.
Following a 104-99 loss in Game 5, Harden couldn’t really explain why he wasn’t more aggressive down the stretch:
“I mean, I don’t know,” Harden said after leaving the locker room, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I have to go back and look at the game. Whether it’s other guys were getting shots, open looks, trying to make the right plays at certain points in the game. I’m not sure.”
Harden’s only bucket after the 8:30 mark came with a driving layup in the winding seconds of regulation, making it a three-point game with 18.6 seconds left in the game:
James Harden’s shot chart over the final 8:30.
Chance to steal Game 5 with a chance to then close out at home.
The guard with the most dominant scoring season in 30 years…
… takes one shot. pic.twitter.com/tbUjH1lGF4
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) May 9, 2019
Harden’s lone other score from the field in the fourth quarter was a desperation 18-foot floater to beat the buzzer and a technical free throw after Draymond Green kneed Chris Paul in the head after an offensive foul was called on the latter.
The Beard’s lack of aggression down the stretch was puzzling, given that he had attempted 28 or more shots in three of the previous four games in the series.
The Rockets will need a more relentless version of Harden than they got in Game 5 in order to keep their NBA Finals hopes alive, now one game away from elimination.
The post Rockets’ James Harden can’t explain why he was so quiet down stretch of Game 5 loss to Warriors appeared first on ClutchPoints.