James Harden hit just 8-of-25 shots, 2-of-13 3-pointers and 16-of-17 free throws for 32 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in Tuesday's 105-99 win over the Thunder to win their first-round series 4-1.
Harden was easily outplayed by Russell Westbrook tonight, who hit 15-of-34 shots and 5-of-18 3-pointers for 47 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, but the Rockets were able to hold on for the win, helped by a 14-4 start to the fourth quarter in a close game. Most of Harden's help came from Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Nene and Clint Capela, while Westbrook didn't have the same support system in place, which was the case for most of the season. Harden's Rockets will advance to face the winner of the Spurs-Grizzlies series, and it looks like the Spurs will take a 3-2 lead tonight, as of this writing. Either way, Harden's arch nemesis (Westbrook) is out of the way and he can now focus on trying to lead his team to a championship, without all the triple-double and MVP talk getting in the way of his ultimate goal.