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James Harden blames his beard for making him look irritated

James Harden

Tuesday night was not a good night for James Harden and the Houston Rockets as they failed to get to a 2-0 series lead against the Utah Jazz in their Western Conference semifinals matchup, losing to the Jazz, 116-108 at home. It’s still early in the series so there’s no need for either team to push the panic button. If anything, now is a good time for Harden to talk about his facial hair.

Speaking to reporters following the loss to Utah, Harden was asked by a media member about his perceived irritated demeanor during the game to which the top MVP candidate reacted incredulously.

Here’s how the exchange went, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.

Reporter: “You had that irritated look.”

Harden: “What’s that?”

Reporter: “You know, ‘I’m not getting a call.'”

Harden: “I look like that all the time. That’s just in my facial expression. I think it’s the beard.”

As for the game, Harden led his team with 32 points, knocking down nine of 22 shots from the field. He was 2-for-10 from deep, but went 12-for-13 from the foul line and also had 11 assists.

For the first time this postseason, the Rockets looked vulnerable. While the Minnesota Timberwolves won a game against the Rockets in the first round, that victory did not come with as much sense of danger to the Rockets as the one Utah dealt Houston on Tuesday.

The Rockets will eye to get the series lead back this Friday in Salt Lake City, where they went 2-0 back in the regular season.