You Gotta Be Quicker Than That: James Harden’s Game Winning Play

“I’m a hooper,” James Harden told ESPN. “I just want to hoop. I’ll rest when I’m done. I feel like my teammates and organization need me to go out there and do what I do. I get obviously paid for it, but it’s something I love. I enjoy the grind. I enjoy how hard it is. I think that makes you tougher. That makes you who you are.”

It was in the final moments of Monday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets that Harden showed who he was with his clutch defensive play that resulted in a 125-124 Houston Rockets victory. This play solidified Harden’s candidacy for MVP. He nabbed Jameer Nelson’s air ball that grazed the net, pivoted and blew past a stunned Nuggets defense to make the game winning layup.

When asked about Harden and the MVP award, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said, “I don’t know how many examples you need there. He gives you an example every night. If something’s better out there, I’ve never seen it and I’ve been around. I’m old and I’ve been around and never seen anything better.”

Harden managed to find what he referred to as “Usain Bolt” type speed after having two consecutive 40-point triple-double performances over the weekend. He made history as the first player in the NBA to do so. With a record of 49-22 the Rockets are sitting comfortably at the third spot in the Western Conference standings.