Jeremy Lin and James Harden had their best game as a pair last night, combining for 75 points in a comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.Interestingly, the game came amid some locker room turmoil.
Before the game, the Rockets made two key roster moves — trading Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas, and Cole Aldrich to the Kings, and Marcus Morris to the Suns.
Lin was angry that the Rockets shook things up, telling CSN Houston:
“That was just pretty much the worst thing. It sucks because we’re a close-knit team and we actually really, really care about everybody that got shipped off and it was just really emotional for me.
“To be honest, I was like ‘I don’t even want to play. I don’t even want to play tonight.’ It was really emotional.”
Patterson, Morris, and Douglas all played pretty significant minutes for the Rockets.
Luckily for Houston, Lin played and had one of his best games of the year. He scored 29 points on 12 for 22 shooting with 8 assists and 6 rebounds.
James Harden was even better, scoring 46 points on just 19 shots in one of the most efficient scoring performances in the NBA this year.
Lin and Harden scored 23 of their 75 points in the final 6:30 of the fourth quarter, when Houston stormed back from a 109-95 deficit to win 122-119.
We’ve written over and over against that Lin has struggled in Houston because he and Harden are redundant. They both are at their best when they dominate the ball, and with Harden emerging as one of the best players in the NBA, Lin has had to reinvent himself as an off-ball shooter.
But there’s evidence that they are starting to figure it out. Lin is averaging 17 points per game in his last five while Harden has been shooting out of his mind.
They aren’t going to score 75 points combined every night, but last night was a fantastic sign for the final 10 weeks of the season.
You can watch all the points they scored in the final four minutes here. Spectacular performance:
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