Harden became determined to lead the Rockets as he could not when uncomfortably sharing the job with center Dwight Howard. “He’s been great letting us coach him, being in the locker room, being a guy on the bench cheering for his teammates, taking them out to dinner,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s done very well. “You have to hug, too. This game is a game of emotion. Sometimes, emotions take over. You have to let it because if you’re not emotional in this game, you need another line of work. But he’s been really, really positive.”
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Gordon, who has made 184 three-pointers and is shooting 38.5% from that distance this season, got the best of Irving – the 2013 champion – in the tiebreaker, outscoring him 21-19. “Towards the end, you get a little tired,” said Gordon, a first-time Three-Point Contest participant. “I wasn’t really concentrating on how many I made. It’s all about just focusing on just knocking down the shot. I never count it in my head or anything. You just go out there and shoot the ball. That last rack, it was just mostly fatigue.”