Video: Rockets’ James Harden gives props to Suns’ Kelly Oubre Jr. after the final buzzer
Despite The Beard’s stellar performance (which included a highlight reel play), Oubre Jr. did not make things easy for him. The two traded compliments following the Rockets 108-102 victory.
Harden’s praise is certainly understandable. Oubre Jr. has established himself as one o the more dependable perimeter defenders in the league and he had the duty of guarding the reigning MVP for most of the night. Harden still managed to finish the game with 41 points on 12-of-25 shooting to go with 11 assists, nine rebounds, and six steals.
Of course, there is no way to stop a player of Harden’s caliber from having an impact on the game. Teams can only hope to contain him, which Oubre Jr. did whenever the opportunity presented itself. Aside from his tenacious defense, he was a force on the offensive end as well. He registered 22 points while hitting three of his five three-point attempts. He also tacked on four rebounds, two assists, and five steals on the night.
It is no secret that the Suns have had a rough time getting in the win column throughout the course of the 2018-19 NBA season. Despite their struggles, Oubre Jr. has become an integral part of their rotation since his arrival at the trade deadline. Although Phoenix is still in the midst of a grueling rebuild, they can take solace in the fact that they have put together a talented, young core going into the offseason.