James Harden on ground during Rockets' playoff game against Thunder
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

The Houston Rockets needed a strong performance from their MVP back-court duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook with their season pretty much on the line against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday evening.

Houston found itself down 2-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals series after a shocking Game 1 win gave in to two consecutive losses.

Pretty much from the get, the Rockets proved that the stage was, once again, too big for them. Los Angeles jumped out to a 16-point lead at the half and was up by more than 20 points in the third quarter.

Even as Houston made it closer in the final stanza, Harden himself was nowhere to be found. A shoot-first guard if we’ve ever seen one, the former NBA MVP attempted just 11 shots throughout the game. He hit on all of two of those shots en route to scoring 21 points.

It was the continuation of major postseason struggles from the Harden-led Rockets in recent years. It also has Houston on the verge of a second-round playoff exit and potentially some dramatic changes this fall.

Those watching the game absolutely blasted Harden for one of the worst performances of his legendary career.