Harden drains game-winning 3-pointer in OT thriller against Warriors

DeMarcus Cousins hangs with Warriors teammate Kevin Durant

DeMarcus Cousins hangs with Warriors teammate Kevin Durant

After James Harden dropped 44 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds - oh, and one dagger - in Thursday night's OT win over the Warriors, his teammate, Austin Rivers, also went of, at least in the locker room.

James Harden has been playing on another level over the last 10 games.

Antetokounmpo averaged 25.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists, meanwhile, Harden averaged 36.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists in December.

Asked if he felt too much energy was spent on critiquing that aspect of his play, Harden said: "Exactly". But following the above game-winner, the Rockets had won six straight games, all without Paul in the lineup.

Harden scored only five points in the fourth quarter, but he swished a 30-foot stepback to tie the score with 51.4 seconds remaining. According to Tas Melas of The Starters, it's something we've never seen before, not even from Curry or Thompson.

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The Warriors managed to disrupt Harden's rhythm for a little more than a half, holding him to 15 points on 4-of-13 shooting in the first two quarters. Klay Thompson added 26. Among the NBA's all-time leading scorers, Harden's career 23.5 ppg scoring average ranks 21st and his 16,951 points ranks 96th.

Nevermind that this was his fifth straight 40-point game.

The insane part is, he also hit a 3-pointer that wound up sending the game into overtime. Harden wows the world with his regular season output, but his underwhelming postseason play invites a wave of criticism and a rethinking of his greatness both contemporarily and historically. In doing so, he broke a tie with Russell Westbrook for the most 50-point triple-doubles (4) in National Basketball Association history. The only player with more is Westbrook (11).

That's an incredible load to carry, but Harden isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

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