The failed chemistry experiment known as the Houston Rockets finally seems ready to bust through its beaker.
Both the team's failure to compete for a championship and the duo's inability to form a successful working relationship manifested themselves in one play on Tuesday night, when the Rockets fell out of the final playoff seed in the West by losing to the Utah Jazz in overtime.
In an otherwise standard handoff pick-and-roll, both the lob to Howard and a jumper for Harden were open.
Though Howard should have been ready for a pass, it's hard to blame him for assuming Harden would shoot every chance he got.
The Jazz overtook the Rockets in the standings for the eight-seed in the Western Conference.
Harden and Howard reportedly tried to get one another traded in 2014.
"It is not about where we are in the standings, it is about us continuing to fight and play the right way," Harden said after the game. "We made some tough shots. Rodney Hood made a couple of tough threes off of the dribble. It is a tough loss for us but we played well and competed at a high level."
By "played well," he means his team allowed 117 points to the sixth-lowest scoring team in the NBA; the Jazz average 98.4 points per game.
"It was definitely intense," Harden added. "It was a great atmosphere. It was a tough one and we have to bounce back on Thursday."
The Rockets' record dropped to 28-29.