James Harden started Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors very hot with 24 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 8-of-17 shooting. The Houston Rockets' guard struggled in the second half of that game, however, as Harden shot just 3-of-9 and 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Harden's Game 5 performance wasn't much better as he finished 5-of-21 from the field and 0-11 from beyond the arc for 19 points, three rebounds, and four assists in 39 minutes of action. Thankfully, he had teammate Chris Paul show up in the second half of Game 4 and for much of Game 5, helping Houston to a pair of victories and a 3-2 series lead over the defending NBA Champions. Harden's toughest challenge is coming soon, however.

With Paul suffering a hamstring strain at the end of Game 5 and already being ruled out of Game 6, all eyes are pointed at the likely 2018 MVP in Harden to lead Houston after a pair of lackluster games.

Harden says after last night's win, he and Paul hung out together until about 2:30AM, discussing life, per Rockets reporter Ben DuBose.

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It's certainly good to see that Harden and Paul were together after the game, likely keeping each other's minds off basketball and the fact that they're just one win away from the NBA Finals.

DuBose also caught Paul entering Rockets' practice on Friday afternoon in high spirits, laughing and joking around with teammate P.J. Tucker. Fans are hoping that's a good sign.

Game 6 will be Saturday night in Oakland. Houston will already be without Paul for that game, but his status for Game 7 has yet to be determined.