James Harden Hits Clutch 3 to Send Rockets-Blazers to OT

Jim Cavan@@JPCavanContributor IMarch 9, 2014

Houston Rockets' James Harden celebrates hitting a three-point shot against the Indiana Pacers in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 7, 2014, in Houston. The Rockets won 112-86. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

To foul up three or not to foul up three? That is the question. A question that has been pretty much answered. The answer is yes, yes you should.

Apparently, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is still waiting for the Pony Express to deliver the memo.

Here’s the Houston RocketsJames Harden nailing a corner three to send his team to overtime.

I know Harden is fleet of foot and all, but Wesley Matthews has to do a better job of keeping up with him, knowing full well the ball’s about to land in his man’s hands.

The bearded one finished with 41 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals on 12-of-28 shooting—including 7-of-12 from three-point range—in Houston’s thrilling, loose-cannon crazy 118-113 win.

Harden made seven three pointers, and yet, he was somehow allowed to jog unencumbered to the most efficient piece of real estate on a basketball court.

The bucket capped off a spirited fourth-quarter run by the Rockets, which trailed by as many as 13 in the final frame.

Writing at The Oregonian back in January, Joe Freeman noted how Stotts had emerged as one of the league’s best at designing out-of-bounds plays:

The Blazers’ success out of timeouts has helped them win more than they’ve lost. Last month, with the help of Synergy Sports' data and statistics compiled by Bloomberg, Deadspin created a list of the NBA’s best and worst at designing plays out of timeouts. Deadspin determined that Stotts and the Blazers were the fifth-best offensive after-timeout team in the NBA, accounting for 101.5 points per 100 possessions.

Chalk this one up to a momentary lapse in reason, I suppose.

The win was Houston’s fifth in a row, while Portland’s loss dropped them to 1.5 games back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the Western Conference’s No. 4 seed.

All because of your actions, Terrance! Terry. Whatever.

What’s that? Harvard did a study, via Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Eisenberg, suggesting the evidence for fouling up three isn’t so cut-and-dry? Oh.