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Rockets’ James Harden drives for game-winning lay-up over Wizards (VIDEO)

Feb 12, 2014, 11:16 PM EDT

It was an unsual ending in Houston.

The Rockets had the ball down two to the Wizards with :04 seconds left and, as you would expect, Houston wanted to get the ball to James Harden coming out high off a Dwight Howard screen — except Trevor Ariza hooked Harden’s arm, knocking him to the ground before the ball was inbounded for a foul (there was a little grabbing both ways on that play, Wizards fans are pretty bitter about it saying Harden clamped Ariza, and Phil Jackson agreed on twitter, but I think it’s a good call). That was a huge mistake for Washington, and not just because Ariza fouled out. A foul before the ball was inbounded meant Harden got one free throw and the Rockets got the ball out of bounds.

Now after the made free throw the Rockets were down one still with :04 seconds, and you knew they would run something similar to get Harden the ball and a shot at the win.

You didn’t expect that shot to be a lay-up. That’s the video you see above.

Harden popped out to the top of the key off a Howard screen again, caught the ball and had plenty of room for a wide open jumper. He also had a lane to the basket as John Wall was still trying to fight over Howard’s pick, while Howard’s man was so deep (middle of the paint) and rooted to the ground that Harden could drive, Eurostep around him and be right at the rim. It was just terrible defense by the Wizards.

And a sweet shot by Harden.

With that shot the Rockets go into the All-Star break on a seven game win streak.

  1. savvybynature - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Travel.

    • apkyletexas - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      Watch it again. Two long, twisting steps.

      • savvybynature - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:08 AM

        You’re right. At first watch looked like he put his left foot back down, but upon second look it dipped down close to the ground but didn’t touch again.
        Good play.

      • ranfan12 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:15 AM

        yeah that’s pretty craft. i swear it looks like he’s traveling but he took that step as the ball was coming into his hands, so it’s definitely clean euro

    • casualcommenter - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      The Eurostep isn’t a travel. Prominent players like Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade have been using it for roughly a decade, so if the NBA thought Eurostepping was a travel, they probably would have done something about it by now.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      “Flew from New Zealand to see James Ball so Harden” LOL EPIC SIGN

  2. bjornreyes - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Dat Eurostep tho.

  3. lakerade - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Ariza, wasting away on teams.

    • unxpexted1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      I still dont know why we didn’t keep him. I know we would had to pay a little more but I would have taken his athleticism of Ron Ron any day.

  4. sportfandc - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    At worst for the Wiz, that was a double foul between Ariza and Harden. I guess that just means the Wiz get crushed in OT (as is their wont). Bavetta is horrible.

  5. unxpexted1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    Nice to see the Wizards being competitive against good teams on the road. Now if only they could have the same intensity against these sub-par teams. Beat OKC, Portland and GSU, and then lose to the Cavs. Need bench and consistency…..and probably better coaching.

  6. skinsovieterps - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    How can you say that wasn’t a foul on Harden you idiot? He had as many foul shots as the Wizards did as a team. Dick Bavetta is a POS ref. The Wiz got screwed!

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