James Harden reveals what Rockets need big time to win championship
The Houston Rockets logged another impressive victory against a LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, 113-97. Despite the W, Rockets superstar James Harden was not in the mood to sit on their laurels just yet.
In his post-game interview, Harden emphasized the importance of Houston’s defense moving forward:
“Our goal is to defend at a high level, and I think we did that,” he said, via Ben DuBose of USA TODAY SPORTS. “That’s going to win us a championship, on the defensive end. Laser focus is what it takes. The team effort is there.”
Harden led his team to another victory, finishing with a game-high 39 points on 11-of-19 shooting, along with five triples, eight rebounds, 12 assists, three steals, and a block in 36 minutes of action. He also knocked down all 12 of his attempts from the charity stripe, but on a bit of a sour note, Harden had a triple-double of the worst variety, after turning the ball over 10 times against LA.
It is clear with his statement above that the most important thing for Harden right now is the championship. He has kept his eye on the prize throughout this season, and not even a four-month hiatus was going to distract him.
Harden and company have now won three out of their first four seeding games inside the bubble. They are currently sitting at the fourth spot in the West, and are tied with the Utah Jazz, who have an identical win-loss record. The second seed is still within reach for the Rockets, with the Los Angeles Clippers holding a three-game advantage over Houston at this point.