NBA world reacts to James Harden fouling out in overtime loss to Thunder

By Vincent Frank
Aug 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets lays on the court after falling with Nerlens Noel #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second quarter in game three of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House. Mandatory Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

This is not going to help the narrative too much. Already without an injured Russell Westbrook, the last thing the Houston Rockets wanted to see heading into overtime against the Thunder was James Harden to foul out.

Up 2-0 in the first-round series, that’s exactly what we saw early in the extra stanza when Harden fouled Thunder guard Luguentz Dort.

It represented Harden’s sixth foul of the game and had him heading back to the bench for good after dropping a game-high 38 points. Oklahoma City would go on to outscore Houston by 12 in overtime to make this a series.

Given the Rockets’ postseason struggles during the Harden-led era, it’s not a surprise that those watching the game had some reactions to this development.