HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- With 26 seconds to play in the Rockets 128-118 loss to the Clippers Friday night at Toyota Center, James Harden fouled out after being called for two offensive fouls within 49 seconds of one another. Before heading to the bench, Harden knocked the ball away from official Pat Fraher, earning him a technical foul, which eventually led to his ejection. When asked after the game what led to his frustration, Harden was blunt.
Fraher, a 17-year veteran, called both offensive fouls on Harden, drawn by Clippers rookie guard Jawun Evans in the late stages of Friday’s game that saw the Rockets guard score 51 points for the second straight game. Harden later explained those two fouls were the only reason for his ire.
“I’m tired of hearing ‘I made a mistake’ or ‘I didn’t see it’,” Harden said. “That’s frustrating when you hear that as a player. I know we all make mistakes, but it’s just frustrating.”
Harden still attempted 16 free throws Friday and has attempted more than anyone else in the NBA, but the Rockets along with much of the NBA have grown frustrated with inconsistencies about what constitutes a shooting foul. Over the offseason, the NBA altered its continuation rules as a way to combat some of the fouls that Harden was able to draw last season, especially on 3-point shots.
The ejection was Harden’s first since joining the Rockets.