HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – James Harden scored the points that gave the Rockets the lead when it mattered most.
However, it was an off night for the league’s leading scorer. Harden finished with 15 points on 4-of-15 shooting, including 0-for-4 from long distance. Overall, Harden’s stat line still included 12 assists and five rebounds.
“I mean, he had 12 assists tonight,” Kevin McHale said afterwards. “He had five rebounds. He tried to do other stuff. Now James wasn’t really clicking offensively. He just seemed to be in between. He was putting his head down and making the passes, but (the Nets) were putting two on him a lot.
“As long as we get two (opposing defenders) on the ball, we get pretty good shots, for the most part.”
On Friday, many of those shots not taken by Harden were going in. Terrence Jones finished with a season-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting. He also had 12 rebounds. Trevor Ariza had 20 points, including five three-pointers, on 7-of-11 shooting.
“That’s what we’re going to have to do,” Ariza said. “(Harden)’s been playing great, but we can’t expect him to bail us out every time. We have to come and hold our own and contribute as well and that’s what happened tonight.”
“When you’ve got five or six guys that are contributing every single night, it’s a good thing for us,” Harden said. “It’s not all about me scoring the basketball. Sometimes, you’ve got to make winning plays. And that’s diving on the ground, making the assist to Pat (Beverley) and then, when your name is called, when you have the opportunity to close the game out, you do it. It’s been like that the entire year and I’m just happy we won.”