James Harden will have felt hard done by during the Hornets vs Rockets match-up at the Toyota Center on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning IST). The Rockets ended up on the winning side in convincing fashion, the 125-110 scoreline telling the story of a team hitting its stride in the second half of the season. However, Rockets superstar James Harden will have felt robbed on the night. The man in question of the supposed robbery was a player wearing the Rockets' colours - Austin Rivers.
James Harden was just one rebound short of a triple-double during the Hornets vs Rockets match-up. The eight-time NBA All-Star had a glorious opportunity to rack up a 10th rebound on the night until Austin Rivers came along. James Harden was in prime position when Miles Bridges missed a 3-pointer with just 26 seconds left to play. Austin Rivers then came out of the shadows and picked up the rebound, leaving James Harden bewildered.
Austin Rivers stole the rebound that would have earned James Harden a triple-double 😅 pic.twitter.com/sQdHCd4HZ7— ESPN (@espn) February 5, 2020
That's not to say that Austin Rivers failed to realise what he had done. Rivers became aware of the incident just a couple of steps later. However, James Harden will have few complaints, considering the Rockets' recent form in the NBA. The win against the Charlotte Hornets was their fifth consecutive win since the loss to the Denver Nuggets, with Harden dropping 40 points against the Hornets.
There were some doubts about the capabilities of the Houston Rockets a month ago. Russell Westbrook's accuracy had dropped while opposing teams resorted to crowding out James Harden on occasion. However, Russell Westbrook has now ditched the 3-pointers and has now started focusing on accuracy, a ploy that has worked wonders for the former Oklahoma City Thunder man.