A Monday night matchup between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz became heated when Rudy Gobert grabbed James Harden as he sprinted the floor to stop the fast break.
Harden wanted no part of Gobert's apology 😬 pic.twitter.com/yGgU8IJ555
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 18, 2018
James Harden did not appreciate the foul which, in Gobert’s defense, did not seem to have malicious intent.
When the center approached Harden to apologize, the Rockets guard shoved him away, leading to a collection of players grouping near midcourt to prevent a fight breaking out.
Tempers calmed and a brawl was avoided. Although Harden took a gut punch, he and the Rockets had the last laugh when they prevailed over the Jazz by a final score of 102-97.
Harden had yet another impressive game, scoring 47 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists, and five steals. He shot 16 free throws and converted 15 of them.
Rudy Gobert had a decent game himself, even though it couldn’t compare to Harden’s. The Frenchman had 18 points, 13 rebounds, and continued to be a dominant presence in the paint en route to swatting three shots.
Both teams are looking to turn around their seasons after terrible starts. The Houston victory lifted the team to one game above .500 and the tenth seed in the Western Conference.
The Jazz loss dropped them to 14-17. They’re only better than the lowly Phoenix Suns at this point.
Both teams have a long way to go to return to playoff contention. As long as Harden continues to play like this, Rockets fans know they are in good hands.