The hit was hard enough to send Harden to the locker room temporarily, but he has since returned to action which is certainly a relief for Houston fans.
Looney's elbow met Harden's beard early on in the game, and after getting checked out the Rockets' go-to man seemed to be just fine.
James Harden is headed to the locker room. Was on bench for most of timeout after getting up following elbow to beard from Kevon Looney.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 4, 2019
This is certainly a huge showdown between the two rivals for reasons beyond it being a Western Conference Finals rematch from a season ago.
Harden entered the matchup with four straight 40-point games, and he'd obviously love to deliver another one of those types of performances against the Warriors.
His impressive play has helped the Rockets turn their season around after a slow start, with Mike D'Antoni's squad on a five-game winning streak while finding victory in 10 of their last 11 games.
Harden is now averaging 33.3 points, 8.4 assists, and 5.8 rebounds on the season and, at this point, seems to be the clear front-runner for the NBA MVP award yet again.
Scoring 40-plus points against a team like the Warriors won't be an easy task, but in what figures to be a high-scoring game, it's undoubtedly a possibility.
After the matchup in Oakland, the Rockets will travel to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at Moda Center.