The Houston Rockets were dead even with the New Orleans Pelicans at 61 a piece when James Harden raced down the court with less than two seconds remaining in the first half. Guarded by the Pelicans’ Josh Hart, Harden failed to get a shot off before the buzzer in an unsuccessful attempt to draw a foul to close out the quarter.
Moments later, a frustrated Harden slammed the ball on the floor of the Toyota Center, in which it ricocheted back to hit him in the face. Although it may look as if Harden was agitated by the non-call, his frustration to close out the half was the result of his raunchy start to the game, as he shot 4-of-13 from the field. Harden said:
“I’m going to take whatever they give me. I was in there yesterday working on that same shot, and this morning working on that same shot, and just tonight it didn’t fall. But the most important thing is that we got a win.”