Harden’s OT hero­ics wear down War­riors

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia

James Harden notched his fourth triple-dou­ble of the sea­son with 29 points, 15 re­bounds and 13 as­sists on Thursday night as the Hous­ton Rock­ets out­lasted the War­riors 132-127 in dou­ble over­time to end Golden State’s 12-game win­ning streak.

Harden put the Rock­ets ahead on a 30-footer with 3:12 left in the sec­ond OT and sank a pair of free throws with 2:10 to go fol­low­ing a fla­grant foul on Dray­mond Green.

Eric Gor­don fol­lowed Harden’s free throws with a float­ing jumper and scored 23 off the bench as Hous­ton snapped an eight-game skid to the War­riors, who lost MVP Stephen Curry with 3:25 left in the last ex­tra ses­sion when he was whis­tled for a charge.

Ryan An­der­son also scored 29 with five 3-point­ers and the teams com­bined to shoot 88 3s, 44 apiece.

Kevin Du­rant matched his sea­son high with 39 points to go with 13 re­bounds for the War­riors.

Green had 20 points, 15 re­bounds and nine as­sists.

Curry scored his team’s first six points in the ini­tial over­time and fin­ished with 28 points and five as­sists.

With Hous­ton play­ing a tight zone and shut­ting down the lanes, the War­riors couldn’t hit the big shots the way they usu­ally do. Klay Thomp­son was 4 for 20, 3 of 13 on 3s, on the way to 15 points.

The Rock­ets snapped Golden State’s seven-game home win­ning streak in an en­ter­tain­ing re­match of the first round of the play­offs, won in five games by the War­riors, who also beat the Rock­ets in a five-game 2015 West­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals on the way to their first cham­pi­onship in 40 years.

The War­riors hadn’t lost in Or­a­cle Arena since a 129-100 sea­son-open­ing rout by San An­to­nio on Oct 25 — and Golden State has only lost two reg­u­lar-sea­son games at home in each of the past two sea­sons.

Harden fin­ished 8 for 23, 2 of 11 on 3s and 11 for 14 from the free throw line.

“If you send James to the line 15-18 times you prob­a­bly de­serve to lose,” War­riors coach Steve Kerr said.

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