On Friday morning, All-Star guard James Harden walked off the Toyota Center court after shootaround and suggested he might not play later because of a right foot that has throbbed for a week.
On Friday night, he delivered a 37-point, 8-assist, 7-rebound performance that brought the Rockets back from 20 points behind to beat the Timberwolves 108-100.
Good thing that sore right foot didn’t hurt any more than it did, huh?
“Didn’t look like it to me,” said Luke Ridnour, the Wolves’ undersized shooting guard asked to defend the guy with that beard a good bit of the night. “He looked good to me.”
His team trailing by 20 points just seconds into the third quarter, Harden played the entire second half and energized a Rockets team that’s aimed toward one of the West’s final playoff spots by scoring 25 of those 37 points after halftime.
He changed the pace of a game nearly all by himself, slowing down the Wolves’ efficient first-half offense by getting to the free-throw line 18 times, 13 of those attempts in a second half when he played the parts of both scorer and playmaker with equal aplomb.
“One play, we had three guys on him and he kicked it out,” said Wolves forward Derrick Williams, who played against Harden in Los Angeles since Williams was a ninth-grader. “He’s tough. When you’re trying to double-team James and you’re leaving guys open, it’s hard. It’s hard on all of us.”
Wolves can't hold off Houston
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Mar 16