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James Harden expresses dismay over two late offensive fouls in loss to Celtics

The Boston Celtics melted a 26-point Houston Rockets lead on Thursday faster than James Harrison could erase his legacy in Pittsburgh. Thanks to an Al Horford hook shot with 3.7 seconds remaining in the game, the Celtics managed to complete their comeback, coming away with a 99-98 victory at TD Garden over the Rockets.

Horford’s game-winner would not have been possible if it were not for an offensive foul Marcus Smart coaxed from James Harden, a call that the do-it-all Rockets shooting guard certainly did not like.

Speaking to reporters following the game, Harden expressed his frustration, particularly on the way the game was handled by the referees, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Harden took his comments a little bit further by criticizing the thin composition of referees for the highly-anticipated matchup.

James Harden could also look at his own team’s defensive lapses as to why they lost the contest. The Rockets were outscored by Boston in the second half, 61-36. Houston clearly missed the rim protection of center Clint Capela (right orbital fracture) with Boston compiling 56 points in the shaded area as against the Rockets’ 28 points in the paint.

Harden scored 34 points and had 10 assists but repeatedly shot at his team’s foot with eight turnovers. Now on a four-game skid, the Rockets will have to turn things around before their issues get bigger. They can stop their losing streak on Friday against the Washington Wizards.