Random-ish: Kevin Durant has led the NBA in points and free throws for the past five years. That grip is done. James Harden's time?
Durant is out for another month or so. Now Westbrook hurt his hand. Harden is healthy, though, right?
Beard for Burks? On Harden: "He likes to do everything I like to do—touch the paint, draw contact. He’s tough. That’s why he is who he is."
Jazz happy with D on Harden, but Burke says, “We left the other guys open. Trevor Ariza & the other guy. I can’t pronounce his last name.”
FINAL: Rockets 104, Jazz 93. Dwight, Ariza combine for 42, Harden 18p-10a-7r. Rockets 14-27 from 3-pt range. Bev left w/ hamstring strain.
Jazz score final 10 points of the third, last eight after Harden, Howard sat. Howard's fourth foul hurt badly.
With both Harden, Howard on the bench, Rockets struggle to find some kind of offense. Bench help needed. Jazz within 75-72 through 3Q.
Dwight was in for about 15 seconds before picking up his fourth foul. Back to bench, with Harden already sitting.
Jazz made 60 %of shots in first half, 2 of 9 in first six minutes of second half. Harden with a couple nice stops. Jones shows up, too.
James Harden. What an offensive talent. 10 points, 7 assists and two rebounds and barely broke a sweat in the first half
Halftime: Rockets 58, Jazz 50. Burks 10p/2r, Favors 8p/2, Hayward 6p/3r/2a. Howard 15p, Harden 10p, Papanikolaou 12p on 4/4 triples.
Harden for three just before the horn! Rockets close the half on a 22-8 run, lead 58-50 in Utah.
Harden missing his shots (3 of 9), but has seven of the Rockets eight assists.
Great defense by Kanter there on Harden
James Harden: The Beard. Derrick Favors: The Block.
Rockets "hiding" Harden on Rodney Hood.
Interesting first quarter with Howard (6 of 7) dominant, Harden (1 of 5) not. Derrick Favors has been impressive. Tied at 27 after 1.
Defense keeps getting caught in Harden's beard.
Wondering who's the worse defender. Kanter, or James Harden. I'm taking votes
James Harden just got beat BADLY (shocker) by a driving Alec Burks.
Tonight's season-opening starting lineups: Jazz: Burke, Burks, Hayward, Kanter, Favors Rockets: Beverley, Harden, Ariza, Jones, Howard.
Feel like Chris Bosh is going to be the James Harden of bigs this season. Drawing tons of foul calls.
Trevor Ariza, Terrence Jones, Dwight Howard, James Harden and Pat Beverley the starters tonight for the Rockets
Snyder said he noticed James harden getting to the free throw line 16 times last night
Jazz are only 3-point underdogs tonight vs. Rockets? Did Harden and Howard miss the charter last night and decide to stay in L.A.?
Couple HOU-LAL basketball takeaways. 1. Papanikolaou impressed me. If he steps up, big for HOU 2. Harden in post a lot is interesting
2014-15 MVP TRACKER (based only on actual production): 1. Anthony Davis 2. Ryan Anderson 3. Tony Parker 4. James Harden 5. Monta Ellis
Dwight went on to talk about Ariza, Harden, Beverley, Jones. On the altercation: "It's a great start to the season. We got the win."
Meanwhoile the Rockets look much better defensively (yes, even James Harden) and have better balance. Good start for them.
Harden pops off for 32 in 31min as Rockets crush Kobe, Lakers 108-90. Ariza (16p), TJones (16p-13r) big. Rockets shut down Jeremy Lin.
Key stretch here with Harden sitting. Dwight returns to start the fourth.
Lakers made a run - then more of a slow, ambling walk - Rox up 85-69 after three - Harden up to 32 points
After cutting HOU's lead to single digits, Harden's FT parade helped 'em back to an 85-69 edge as Henry's missed layup closes the 3rd.
This is the best Jeremy Lin has looked for the Rockets in at least 18 months. Harden has 32. Rockets up 85-69 heading to 4th..
Harden up to 32 heading to fourth. Rockets record for an opener the 39 Hakeem scored in '88 and Francis had in '02. Harden had 37 in '12.
Yeah, I hate James Harden.
Harden at 30 points. Record for Rockets season opener scoring is 39 (Francis 2002, Olajuwon 1988).
Harden wants to post up Ronnie Price on every possession he can. Lakers with Kobe, Johnson out too undersized on him.
Harden played some D!!! Obv didn't want JLin to school him on national TV LOL
Both Harden and Kobe are shooting 6-15 FG. Harden has 27. Kobe 17.
We should all start calling James Harden "The Human Fund" because his trips to the charity stripe are based in deceit.
Harden had 37 in his first game with the Rockets. Does he get there tonight? Has 27 with 5:46 left in third.
LAL wings taking James Harden bait every time he drives. Have to know he's searching for contact first. Now 12 of 12 FT's, HOU back up 12.
Harden on full attack mode now. Imagine if OKC didnt have to chose between him and Serge.