Alright, let’s do a show of hands here. Raise your hand if you had James Harden as the hero for the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA’s first round of Playoffs. Keep them up if those heroics were going to come on defense. It seems unlikely, but that’s exactly what he did on Wednesday night to ensure the Rockets overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder and remained in the playoffs. The man himself even said it. He couldn’t hit a shot all night, and yet he still managed to put up 17. The night was so poor from Houston, in fact, that Robert Covington led the way with 21 points.
Russell Westbrook, the man traded for Chris Paul last summer, had 20. But it was Harden’s block in the dying embers of the game that made sure the Rockets won what has been a thrilling series and saw them move on by the skin of their teeth. Speaking of which, the man he blocked, Luguentz Dort, had a career night, scoring 30 to lead all scorers. If only the bucket he had blocked would have went in… we might would be talking about him for years to come. Elsewhere, the Miami Heat took a big step toward an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals as they took a 2-0 series lead over top-seed Milwaukee. The closing seconds were absolutely bonkers in the Heat’s 116-114 win over the Bucks. Khris Middleton was fouled with less than five seconds to go and the score at 114-111. He would tie it up only for Jimmy Butler to get fouled at the buzzer and then hit the free throws to ice the win. Giannis, who scored 29 points, and Goran Dragic, who had 23, led their respective teams in points totals.