"The Beard" reawakens in the clutch.
Believe it or not, James Harden claims he didn't his 0-15 shooting to the start last night's Game 3 contest. His early struggles marked a career-low up to that point. Never before had Harden missed so many consecutive shots at any point in his career - and yet, "The Beard" inevitably rose to prominence when it counted most, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to power the Houston Rockets to a 104-101 margin of victory over the Utah Jazz - and a commanding 3-0 series lead.
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"Keep shooting, keep being aggressive," Harden told the press after a reporter brought up his head-scratching totals. "0-of-15, 14-of-15, 15-of-15, my job is to go out there and produce and be aggressive and in attack mode. Nothing changes."
Beyond registering as a personal low, Harden's 0-15 shooting also goes down the most consecutive playoff misses in over 20 year's of NBA basketball. Put this in perspective, the Rockets guard didn't score a single basket until 7:34 remained on the clock in the 4th quarter - when a fastbreak dunk marked the beginning of a manic spree to the end the game.
From there, it was all step backs and daggers, and there was little the Utah Jazz could do to prevent it from happening, given how close the scoreline going into the 4th. Game 4 takes place in Utah with a 10:30 pm ET start time. Hedge your bets!