James Harden Takes Blame for Rockets' Loss to Bucks: 'This One's on Me'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2019

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 24:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket defended by Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half at Toyota Center on October 24, 2019 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

James Harden took full responsibility for the Houston Rockets' 117-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Thursday's season opener.

"This one's on me," he said after the game, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. "I wasn’t aggressive enough."

Harden had 19 points and 14 assists in the game but finished just 2-of-13 shooting from the field, including 1-of-8 from beyond the arc.

He was especially quiet in the fourth quarter, tallying just two field-goal attempts and missing both. Though he did add four points from the free-throw line, it was a stark difference from last season when he averaged 24.5 shots per game.

The result was a blown 16-point halftime lead and a wasted nine-point advantage going into the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee outscored Houston 39-24 in the final period to earn the shocking victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo—who beat out Harden for the MVP award last year—earned a triple-double with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the come-from-behind win.

One loss in an 82-game season isn't cause for overreaction, but there have been questions all offseason about how Harden and Russell Westbrook would be able to play together. Westbrook was the aggressor Thursday, and it seems Harden wasn't happy about the outcome.

You can be certain the two-time scoring champ will do his best to take control offensively in the team's next game Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans.


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