Posted April 20, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Beard is back.
In a classic plot twist to spice up the NBA playoffs, Harden and his Houston Rockets faded just enough in the final stretch of the regular season to drop to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, just as his old team locked up the top seed.
That set up a first-round clash between Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team that drafted him and where he spent his first three seasons in the league.
''I knew it was going to happen like this, for some reason,'' Harden said. ''That's the beauty of it, that's what basketball is.''
Harden, who couldn't agree to terms to extend his contract past this season in Oklahoma City, was dealt to Houston just prior to the regular season and led the Rockets to the postseason for the first time in four years.
Moving out of the sixth man role that he excelled in with the Thunder, Harden proved himself to be an All-Star while ranking fifth in the NBA in scoring this season.
BEST OF MAXIM
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kendrick Perkins ran the break, Derek Fisher made a contested 3-pointer, Kevin Durant drew a charge on his old pal James Harden, dogs jumped rope at halftime and another fan made another 20,000 half-court shot.
Everything went right for the Thunder against Houston in their first playoff game as the defending Western Conference champs, and if Sunday was supposed...
The Rockets are likely glad Houston isn't too far from Oklahoma City for more than it just being a short flight.
It was a reason why they have decided not to stay the night after Game 1 of their first round playoff series against the Thunder on Sunday.
"I just think you come back," Rockets coach Kevin McHale told the Houston Chronicle. "For a 45, 50-minute flight...
At a time when Jeremy Lin should be focusing on Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, a glimpse at his Twitter page shows that Lin, like millions of people around the world right now, is spending plenty of time screaming at his iPhone.
"Ive been stuck on level 147 of candy crush for an entire week," Lin tweeted this weekend. "I even had a dream about disco...
The Oklahoma City Thunder dismissed the Houston Rockets in short order in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 43 points Sunday as OKC dismantled Houston 120-91.
It was Serge Ibaka that came through with the play of the evening. Ibaka put 17 points and seven rebounds into the Thunder’s collection plate.
James Harden is going to need much more help from his Houston Rockets teammates if he hopes to knock off the team that traded him away before the season started.
Kevin Durant scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook made a run at a triple-double in three quarters and the Oklahoma City Thunder routed Harden and the Rockets 120-91 on Sunday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff...
OK, this is starting to get ridiculous.
For the third time this season, a fan has hit a 20,000 half court shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game.
Let me recap that for you.
Not one ... not two ... but THREE fans have hit this high-pressure, high-dollar basket.
The trick shot for money gimmick is nothing new to the NBA. Some teams might get one fan to make the shot...
OKLAHOMA CITY You had to know this was going to happen.
You just knew James Harden was going to come back at some point, and at some point it was going to really matter.
And now the Thunder are in a no-win situation, while Harden is poised for the ultimate "I told you so" moment.
Five days before the season started, the Thunder traded the popular Harden to Houston,...
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer The Oklahoma City Thunder have faced questions all season on whether they'd be able to succeed after trading James Harden away during training camp.
Harden blossomed in Houston, becoming an All-Star and the NBA's fifth-leading scorer in his first opportunity to be a franchise's featured...
With the 2012-2013 regular season in the rear view mirror, our Wizards watching days have come to a screeching halt for the summer months. But with some of the best first round series in recent memory, the Wizards staff here at Blog So Hard is ready to give you our first round predictions and championship picks for the 2013 NBA Playoffs which kick off this Saturday. Participating...
The Beard is back.
After getting traded to Houston at the end of training camp, James Harden had a feeling he might be meeting up with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates when the NBA playoffs rolled around.
Sure enough, his Rockets will open the postseason Sunday night at Oklahoma City.
Harden spent his first few years in the league building friendships with Kevin Durant...
Gee Jack Nicholson, your hair smells terrific.
LAL 99, Houston Rockets 95
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"Closing Time, open all the doors and let you out into the world, closing time, turn all the lights on over every boy and every girl, closing time, one last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer, closing time, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here," are the lyrics of the Twin Cities'-based band Semisonic. The lyrics are sadly appropriate...