James Harden played superb one-on-one defense against Kawhi Leonard in the game's final moment to lift the Houston Rockets past the Toronto Raptors, 121-119.
After Leonard forced the Rockets' defense to switch off the screen, Harden found himself on an island against the Raptors superstar.
The league's reigning Most Valuable Player destroyed the narrative and made critics delete their drafted memes that mock his defense. When it counted the most against the Raptors, Harden delivered.
Much has been said about James Harden's offensive outburst that has defied conventional standards even for players of his caliber. On the night, though, Harden was silent, scoring only 35 points to go along with two rebounds and seven assists.
Harden better sharpen his teeth on defense as his historical scoring exploits may soon be turned a notch down with Chris Paul nearing a return. This is a good thing, obviously, as it's hard to fathom that such performances are sustainable especially for a deep playoff run.
To his credit, Kawhi Leonard wasn't too bad against the Rockets. The Klaw scored 32 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
The Rockets' record now stands at 28-20, putting them one game behind the fourth-placed Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference standings.