The Beard gave everyone a semblance of normalcy with a 49-point performance in a ludicrous 153-149 overtime Rockets win on Friday to open the team’s reboot in Disney World.
Looking like he hadn’t missed a beat, Harden also chipped in 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks and just 1 turnover while shooting 14-of-20 from the field. To repeat: Harden scored 49 points on 20 shots for the field. That’s 2.45 points per shot.
Because it was a game with 302 total points, three other players — Russell Westbrook, Kristaps Porzingis and Trey Burke — all topped 30 points, while Luka Doncic kicked in another triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
How did the Mavs let this game hit OT?
The wildest moments came in the final minute of regulation, when the Mavericks seemed on track for the win with a 138-131 lead and 45 seconds remaining.
And then Harden hit this 3-pointer to pull within four.
Beard connects on a big 3!— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) August 1, 2020
Mavs 138 l Rockets 134
⏰ 21.0 pic.twitter.com/njoa6HhxLo
A missed Doncic 3-pointer and some free throw jostling eventually resulted in Harden shooting two free throws while down 139-136. Harden made the first shot and missed the second. Then Rockets forward Robert Covington did this:
Not the best few possessions for the Mavericks. That proved costly for a team chasing the Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder for a seed better than their current seventh, which could mean a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
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