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Rockets star James Harden quotes Nipsey Hussle after thrilling Game 7 win over Thunder

James Harden, Rockets, Nipsey Hussle

James Harden struggled throughout the Houston Rockets’ thrilling Game 7 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, but he redeemed himself with a game-saving block in the final seconds. In his postgame interview, Harden referenced the late Nipsey Hussle as he talked about his feelings.

Harden took a page out of Hussle’s own playbook, quoting his good friend after the game:

Harden and Hussle were very close, and the Rockets superstar was deeply hurt when Hussle was shot and killed in March 2019 in South Los Angeles. Clearly, Harden holds the memory of his friend close to his heart.

Harden did not exactly have the game of his life on Wednesday, finishing with just 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting. The former MVP went 1-of-9 from distance in what was a poor night from the field. He did log three rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and three blocks to salvage his stat line.

Most importantly, however, Harden came up big for the Rockets on the defensive end when it mattered most. The 6-foot-5 guard blocked a Lu Dort 3-point attempt in the dying moments of the game that could have won the contest for the Thunder. After swatting the shot, Harden also had the presence of mind to dodge Dort’s attempt to throw the ball at him out of bounds.

Harden’s last-second heroics led to a huge win for the Rockets, who are now headed to the Western Conference Semifinals to face the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Friday.