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James Harden Says 'It's OK' After Loss to Warriors; Mike D'Antoni Warns Rockets

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and head coach Mike D'Antoni talk during a timeout during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Rockets superstar guard James Harden shrugged off Wednesday's 106-104 home loss to the Golden State Warriors.

According to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, Harden wasn't overly concerned with the defeat, saying: "It's OK. Yeah. Nah, it's all right, man. We lost. We know we did. Good thing about it is we play again on Friday. It's one loss."

The defeat snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Rockets, who are tied for third in the Western Conference with the Oklahoma City Thunder at 42-26 and trail the Warriors by 4.5 games for the No. 1 seed.

While Harden isn't sweating the loss, Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni warned that his players need to learn from it if they want to succeed down the stretch: "Sometimes you don't learn a lot when you win. ... If this didn't get their attention, then we're in big trouble. It'll get their attention. And we just gotta figure some things out and do a better job."

Losing to a top team like Golden State during the regular season usually isn't cause for great concern, but the Warriors (46-21) had lost two of their previous three games and four of their last six.

Also, the Dubs were without Kevin Durant, who sat with an ankle injury. If the Rockets encounter a healthy Warriors team during the playoffs, then the challenge will be even greater.

Houston was the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference last season, and it came within one win of beating the Warriors in the West and advancing to the NBA Finals. Now that they're healthy, the Rockets are looking more and more like last year's team.

Injuries to point guard Chris Paul and center Clint Capela forced Harden to put the team on his back for long stretches this season, but with everyone healthy, the Rockets are positioned to go on a deep run provided they bounce back from Wednesday's loss like D'Antoni hopes. Houston hosts Phoenix, the West's last-place team at 16-53, Friday.

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