After 14 consecutive wins, the Houston Rockets have lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. Without Chris Paul, who suffered an adductor strain against the Lakers, James Harden became the first player since Kobe Bryant with back-to-back 50-point performances.
As the Rockets were looking to make one final push, Harden was called for two questionable charge calls, which eventually led to him getting ejected. After the second consecutive loss, Harden commented on the officiating according to Def Pen Hoops:
"Bullsh!t calls…. I'm tired of hearing 'I made a mistake' or 'I didn't see it.' It's frustrating when you hear that as a player." pic.twitter.com/l45TF8ERnG
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 23, 2017
Throughout the 2017-18 NBA season, there has been growing tension between the players and refs and this is another example. As the NBPA and NBRA recently met, it will be interesting to see how this situation continues to develop.
For Harden and the Rockets, there is frustration after losing to two teams with losing records. With the Rockets looking to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, they cannot play to the level of their competition, especially when Paul is out with an injury.
After the two losses, the Rockets will look to rebound against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day and Boston Celtics on Dec. 28.