Los Angeles: James Harden out duelled Kevin Durant down the stretch to lift the Houston Rockets to a 126-121 overtime victory over Golden State on Saturday that trimmed the deficit in their NBA play-off series.
Harden drained a three-pointer with 49 seconds left in overtime and after Durant made three free throws he added a step-back floater that proved the final nail.
“Close the game — that’s what I’m here for, that’s what I do,” said Harden, who finished with 41 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The Rockets, coming off back-to-back defeats on Golden State’s home floor in Oakland, California, narrowed the gap in the best-of-seven Western Conference second-round series to 2-1.
The Rockets withstood a 46-point performance from Durant, who threatened to spoil the Rockets’ return home when he opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 scoring spree that Warriors turn a seven-point deficit in to a 94-93 lead.
In a see-saw final period, two free throws from Harden knotted the score at 112-112 with 38.7 seconds left.
Durant missed a jump shot and then Houston point guard Chris Paul got wrapped up by Klay Thompson and Durant as he drove for a basket and it went to overtime.