Harden began the game aggressively attacking the rim in transition, but defensively he was hot and cold, leaving Danny Green open on the perimeter, losing him with unnecessary help and even fouling him on a corner three with 41 seconds to go in the first half.
He scored 11 points in the first half, making two three-pointers and five free throws. In the third quarter he exploded for 12 points, pushing Houston into a seven-point lead heading into the final quarter.
Harden also hit a go-ahead leaner with 4.5 seconds left in the game, a huge shot over Tim Duncan that gave Houston a one point lead. He finished with 29 points and 15 made free throws, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and one turnover.