James Harden scored 45 points, an incredible total by any standard, but even more so in the playoffs. Still, even with that effort, it was clear that Stephen Curry was better than Harden.
When Curry jumped to block a shot, he flew up over Trevor Ariza. Ariza tried to duck him, but the impact took Curry’s legs out from under him, flipping him over. He landed hard on the court, breaking his fall only slightly with one arm and then hitting his head on the hardwoods. He left the game, returning after some time, but clearly being limited by the injury.
It’s important because all of that had to happen for James Harden to finally look like the James Harden who was considered for the MVP honors that ultimately went to Curry. Harden has been good in other games, but he’s made mistakes, even turning the ball over when the Rockets were down just one point, as time expired. He’s not been an MVP caliber player. Last night, he finally looked like he deserved the honor, scoring 45 and leading his team to its first win of the series.
Christian Broad feels that he could only do it, though, with Curry injured. If anything, this game showed just how great Curry is, as he’s both held Harden in check and been a scoring machine himself. The Warriors will have him back for the next game, which they’re expected to win.