Thanks to another active NBA trade deadline by general manager Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets fielded a skeleton crew against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
Lacking Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas (all of whom left Houston in a pair of deals that netted Sacramento Kings rookie Thomas Robinson, per USA Today's Sam Amick), the Rockets were going to need a massive effort from James Harden to stay close against the mighty Thunder.
And they got one.
Harden poured in a career-high 46 points on a comically efficient 19 shots, helping pull the Rockets ahead after trailing by 14 with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Houston roared back to stun the Thunder by a final score of 122-119.
He didn't do it alone, though, as Jeremy Lin hit a pair of late threes that helped Houston complete its comeback. Lin's 29 points were critical, as they offset the career-high 28 that OKC improbably got from Thabo Sefolosha.
Kevin Durant registered his second career triple-double and Russell Westbrook even flirted with the rare quadruple-double in one of the league's most entertaining affairs of the season.
With the statement win over Harden's former team, Houston improved to 30-26. The Thunder dipped to 39-15 in defeat.