James Harden Actually Played Defense And The Rockets Won

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

The unexpected came to be in Game 4 of Warriors–Rockets.

We finally got a close playoff game.

The Rockets actually made the Western Conference finals a series.

And, most stunningly, James Harden played defense.

It even shocked the Beard himself. He was so surprised to learn that the product of good defense is another offensive possession, that he forgot to launch this wide-open three.

He’d come back to the well of defensive effort.

Harden committed back-to-back steals late in the second quarter to help the Rockets close the first half on a 16-5 run for a 53-46 lead.

He also swatted Stephen Curry as the quarter expired in the two-time MVP’s f—ing house.

Harden was no slouch on offense either, scoring 30 as the Rockets tied the series at 2-2.

Just ask Curry.

Or Draymond Green.

According to NBA.com, Harden defended Curry for 13 possessions in the 95-92 Rockets victory, holding the star point guard to 2-of-7 shooting, Curry’s lowest percentage against any Rockets defender.

It’s almost like defense is good and important.