James Harden notoriously played all but two minutes of the fourth quarter in the Houston Rockets’ 126-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, determined to make his impact upon coming back into the game. The Beard unexpectedly asked head coach Mike D’Antoni for two good minutes of rest before re-entering the game and taking over, mustering a 50-point triple-double with only one thing in his mind.
“I just tried to make big plays, honestly,” James Harden said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “As I’ve been saying over and over, we’re in a hole right now.
“We have to find a way out of this hole and we will. That’s what we have on the line.”
The Rockets have put together a pair of wins against Western Conference opponents to shake out of a three-game losing skid and dropping seven of their last nine games. A win against the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the week snapped the streak.
The acquisition of Danuel House Jr. has helped the team with its vast need for outside shooting, and team leaders have already seen the massive difference one role player can make.
“Man, D-House, he’s so valuable to our team,” said Chris Paul. “He doesn’t do anything to hurt you, plays the right way, plays hard. He’s a big piece to our team right now.”
House put up 15 points in 29 minutes off the bench, already a favorite of coach Mike D’Antoni, who has tried to play musical chairs with his lineup in search of a winning formula.