NBA

Harden 'not concerned at all' by Rockets' collapse

By Sports Desk December 07, 2018

James Harden insists he is "not concerned at all" about the Houston Rockets despite another dismal quarter in defeat to the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

The Rockets were outscored 17-9 by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter en route to a road loss on Monday and a 12-minute spell again cost Houston in Salt Lake City, going down 38-11 in the third as the Jazz coasted to a big 118-91 win.

Yet star man Harden says there is little to be overly worried by, saying "it happens in basketball", although he is keen for the Rockets to improve.

"I'm not concerned at all," Harden told reporters. "What would I be concerned about? It happens. It happens in basketball.

"We've got to watch the film and figure out how to get better, whether that's winning the turnovers or defensively being better. We don't know yet. I'm pretty sure it's a variety of things, though."

Asked for his analysis of the decisive third quarter, he added: "[The Jazz] got off to a really good third quarter. We didn't make shots, they made shots. We had a couple of mistakes on defense and they capitalised on them."

Houston slipped to 11-13 against Utah, but Harden is not interested in drawing comparisons to the Rockets team that finished the 2017-18 regular season as top seeds.

"We can't do anything about last year. We've got to just focus on this year, each game and each day getting better," he said. "Honestly, we've got a completely different roster.

"We focus on what we've got to improve every game. Things aren't always going to great, but sometimes things are going to go great. We've just got to stay the pace, stay the course until the end."

Related items

  • Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry apologised for the moon landing comments he made earlier this week while talking with retired astronaut Scott Kelly. 

  • Lakers' Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical Lakers' Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical

    The Los Angeles Lakers were left bemused on Saturday as Lance Stephenson was called for a technical foul following his air guitar celebration.

    Stephenson was running back down the court after making a three-pointer late in the third quarter of the Lakers' 128-100 win over the Charlotte Hornets when he mimicked a guitar in the direction of opposing rookie Miles Bridges.

    The seemingly harmless celebration attracted the attention of the referees and Stephenson was called for a foul, but that will not stop the frustrated Los Angeles star in future.

    "I guess the refs don't like my little air guitar celebration," the forward said. "Of course [he would do it again] - especially if I'm feeling it."

    Luke Walton and LeBron James both came to Stephenson's defence, with the former adding: "You can't take that away from Lance; it's part of who he is.

    "I tried [to stop him] once earlier this season and he just keeps doing it. That's what makes him really good, his competitive greatness, and that's part of who he is."

    James, who scored a triple-double in the dominant victory, said: "I don't know why he received a technical for that. That's what he does. It's part of his repertoire."

  • Thunder's Westbrook: 'When we defend like that  — best team in the league' Thunder's Westbrook: 'When we defend like that — best team in the league'

    Russell Westbrook believes the Oklahoma City Thunder are the best team in the NBA when they defend like they did against the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Thunder claimed a 110-104 victory over the Clippers, with Westbrook's defensive energy pivotal as Oklahoma City prevailed just a day after losing to the Denver Nuggets.

    Westbrook only had 13 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists, but he was unconcerned by his underwhelming offensive showing.

    "When we defend like that — best team in the league," Westbrook said. "We know what we have to do to win games."

    Thunder coach Billy Donovan was full of praise for Westbrook's all-action defensive showing, saying: "We need him pushing the ball with pace. We need him playing defense at a really, really high level.

    "When he does all the things that he did tonight, regardless of how he's shooting, I think his fingerprints are always all over the game."

    Though back-to-back games are often a bone of contention among NBA players, Thunder star Paul George believes being on a second night of one helped the Thunder on Saturday.

    "I think we get the best out of ourselves [on a back-to-back] because we know we can't mess around," George explained. 

    "We know we need every little bit of energy. We know we're the team that's disadvantaged in a way, because the other team is fresher. I think it heightens our alertness and it forces us to play up to a certain standard."

SportsMax Zone

Latest Tweets

Can the Guyana Jaguars win another four-day title? Defending champions Jaguars on the verge of second victory  Re… https://t.co/MVwNKbc6BL
Two centuries, a half-century, incredible bowling figures, this game has it all, and it's not over! Volcanoes hold… https://t.co/BUB2BJDYSq
Poor cricket to start the first few rounds of the West Indies Championships. Appalling Scorpions batting puts Barb… https://t.co/WaJIWPLCKs
Follow SportsMax on Twitter
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.