Spurs rout James Harden, Rockets 114-75 to win series

Solenn Plantier
Mai 13, 2017

Many Houston Rockets fans probably felt the need to drink after the team was eliminated from the National Basketball Association playoffs in a 39-point blowout against the San Antonio Spurs, and James Harden was right there with them.

The San Antonio Spurs will go on to play the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. He had 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting and 6 turnovers in the second half and overtime of a 110-107 loss in Game 5, going scoreless with three turnovers in the overtime period.

Trevor Ariza (20) and Clint Capela (15) were the only Rockets to score in double figures. The series victory was the first for San Antonio in four postseason meetings with Houston, which eliminated the Silver and Black in 1980, 1981 and 1995.

And the Spurs didn't need Parker (torn left quadriceps) or Leonard (sore left ankle) to do it. Sometimes life hits you in the face.

Harden scored 5 points in each half, which is more than a lackluster performance from him.

"It's frustrating. It's frustrating, definitely, especially the way we were resilient all year long", Harden said. However, he had no answers as to what went so terribly wrong on Thursday night. "This was a good series and we're moving on, but we're not satisfied".

"We just didn't play well", Harden told reporters. Aldridge averaged 21.5 points and 10.5 rebounds during two regular season games against the Warriors.

He displayed flashes of brilliance in the playoffs to be sure, but couldn't deliver when the Rockets needed it most.

In the fourth quarter, the Spurs pushed the lead to 36 with just over four minutes left in the game.

The Spurs carried that momentum into Game 6 in Houston, and Harden didn't respond. That much was heart-breakingly clear after Game 6 when a young Rockets locker-room attendant wept in the corner while the media filed in for postgame interviews.

For his part, Harden took the blame for the Rockets' loss and said in the post-game news conference that he never felt he could get in a rhythm. "You know, yesterday, the guy hardest on James was James", Morey continued. "Everyone's disappointed, but he's No. 1". "One game can't erase nine months of work". "I know it's not the same, but guys weren't too out of place with what to expect". I mean, he's had a historic year, and you can't just say, 'OK, one game.' and all of the sudden, social media goes insane. While this season was a success - the Rockets surpassed expectations and clearly have built a team that allows Harden to flourish - the final two games of this series will add to the doubts that already follow Harden and D'Antoni. (Dejounte Murray) and he came in, he assisted, he played D, he scored. "As a team, and as a unit, we just didn't have a rhythm and they capitalized on that". The offense will get better.

Rockets guard James Harden, a leading candidate for league MVP honors, was a surprising nonfactor as Houston faced elimination.

This isn't the first time Harden has struggled in the playoffs.

"We're hungry, we're not satisfied", Mills said.

After the crushing ending, that might not even be enough time.

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