San Antonio – (CBS HOUSTON) – Limit James Harden and good things happen, and often times when you hold Harden with less than 25 points it means good things for the opposition. Rockets are barely a .500 team when Harden scores under 25 points with a record of 16 and 14.
The Rockets shot out of the gate in the first quarter thanks to getting out and running and James Harden able to draw fouls and get to the rim. Harden was able to get 13 first quarter points and knock down six free throws.
But that all changed after the first as the Spurs started to lock down and limit his ability to get into the paint and draw contact.
“I thought we were pretty disciplined in not trying to block his shots, hack at him and knock it out of his hands” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
In the second quarter the Spurs put guard Cory Joseph on Harden and it seemed to do the trick. The Spurs locked in after that only allowing nine points and two free throws through the rest of the game.
“My job was to go out there, try to limit his (Harden’s) touches” Joseph said. “The less possessions he has the ball, it’s a positive for us” Joseph said.
Whenever Harden was able to blow past Joseph Spurs big Aron Baynes was often there to save the play, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich credited both Joseph and Baynes as big keys to the win over the Rockets.
With the home and home both teams will be able to adjust and counter what the other team was able to do well. Spurs Danny Green is prepared for playmaking Harden on Friday “He (Harden) wasn’t as aggressive tonight as I am sure he will be next game” Green said.
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