The Golden State Warriors took on the challenge of defending James Harden one-on-one for most of the night, and Stephen Curry, who often wound up singled out as his defender, was ultimately fed up with the Houston Rockets star's acting antics.
Late in the fourth quarter, Harden looked for another switch matchup against Curry, only to jerk his head back when driving into Curry and stumbling, hoping to get the foul call. In response, the two-time MVP was visibly irate and seen shaming Harden for his antics once the referees did not call any contact between the two.
Curry does have a tendency to reach on players, one he's had his whole career, and he might have gotten a piece of Harden's beard in attempting to strip the ball loose.
At this stage of the game, it is Harden's reputation for tapping out the rules that precede him — whether it is driving with his head back while initiating contact or kicking his legs out when attempting 3-point shots.
In this case, Curry did foul him (see the split at 0:04), but it was Harden's post-reaction that infuriated Curry in that play.
Always the gambler, Curry went for the steal while up 10 in the fourth — but the Rockets were able to cut down this large deficit and make it a game down the line, as the Warriors survived by the skin of their teeth at the Toyota Center, escaping with a 106-104 win without Kevin Durant.