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Harden nagpaubaya kina Gordon, Paul

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Sa bihirang pagkakataon nitong Linggo, naging supporting role lang si James Harden kina Eric Gordon at Chris Paul.

Umiskor ng 26 si Gordon, binutata ni Paul ang jumper ni Jalen Brunson sa final seconds, at naipreserba ng Houston Rockets ang 94-93 panalo kontra Dallas Mavericks.

Maagang na-foul trouble si Harden at tumapos ng 20 points sa pangwalong sunod na panalo ng Houston. Mas mababa ito ng 16 sa kanyang season average.

Ang reigning MVP ang namuno sa Rockets sa scoring sa naunang 45 games, longest streak ng NBA pagkatapos ma­tuldukan ang 66-game run ni Michael Jordan noong 1988.

“We had a lot of games where it was ugly and we lost earlier in the season,” wika ni Harden. “But we’ll take the ugly win.”

Mintis ang runner ni Harden 8.9 seconds pa, hindi tumawag ng time ang Mavericks. Nagmamadaling ibinaba ni Luka Doncic ang bola, sinalubong ng tatlong Rockets at ipinasa kay Brunson sa right wing. Nakarekober agad sa depensa si Paul, malinis na binutata ang running 14-footer ni Brunson sa buzzer.

“I read (Doncic) and knew he was going to throw it to Jalen,” lahad ni Paul. “Jalen didn’t have enough time to do anything else but shoot it. If he pump-faked, I’m in trouble. But then, he might not have had enough time to get the ball off.”