NBA Playoffs 2017: James Harden chokes against Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs in Game 6; Stephen A. Smith reacts

James Harden of the Houston Rockets
PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | James Harden of the Houston Rockets

James Harden and the Houston Rockets entered the Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals with the goal of tying the series against the San Antonio Spurs. Unfortunately, they ended up suffering a blowout loss and failed to take advantage of their injury-riddled opponent.

The Spurs played the Game 6 against the Rockets without two of their starters, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, due injury. However, they still managed to establish an impressive performance, resulting for them to advance to the Western Conference Finals. LaMarcus Aldridge stepped for the Spurs, finishing with 34 points and 12 rebounds on 61.5 percent shooting from the field.

James Harden takes responsibility for Rockets’ Game 6 loss

In their Game 6 loss, the Rockets struggled on the offensive end of the floor. They only shot 28.6 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc. James Harden surprisingly finished with only 10 points and seven assists on a disappointing 18.2 percent shooting from the field and 22.2 percent from the three-point range.

He also committed six turnovers in 36 minutes on the floor. In a post game interview, Harden took full responsibility for the Rockets’ dismal performance in Game 6. He also commended the Spurs for their outstanding performance on both ends of the floor.

“It does (fall on my shoulders),” Harden said. “You gotta take it for what it is. Everything falls on my shoulders. I take responsibility for it on both ends of the floor and it’s tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. They just dominated. Played well, moved the ball extremely well, made shots. We never really had a rhythm throughout the entire game … we just never got into a rhythm offensively I really didn’t feel like I had a rhythm at the beginning of the game,” he added. “I feel like I was making some passes and we didn’t knock down shots. As a team, as a unit, we really didn’t have a rhythm and they capitalized on that.”

Stephen A. Smith reacts to James Harden’s Game 6 performance

Everyone is surprised with Harden’s performance in a must-win Game 6 for the Rockets. After the Spurs lost Parker and Leonard, the Rockets had the big opportunity to force a Game 7. Unfortunately, they failed to take advantage of the situation. Stephen A. Smith can’t also believe what happened, saying that it wasn’t Harden who showed up on Thursday night.

“I don’t know what happened,” Smith said. “I don’t know how to explain it. There needs to be an investigation. Somebody might have slipped something into his drink, somebody might have done something to him. I have no clue, but it is not James Harden. That was not James Harden that showed up for the Houston Rockets tonight. Somebody with his jersey showed up, it wasn’t him. I cannot believe what I saw.”

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/Rapid Highlights Playoffs

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