Big game James.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden hit a huge 3-pointer in the final minute of the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.
With the Thunder leading 103-101 with 40 seconds remaining, Harden looked to drive to the left on Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Finding Spurs guard Manu Ginobili blocking his path to the basket, Harden reversed course back to the 3-point line as the shot clock ran down. With five seconds remaining on the shot clock, Harden hit Leonard with a left-to-right crossover and step-back combination to free himself for a 3-pointer.
"The ball was supposed to go to Kevin [Durant]," Harden said in a televised postgame interview. "The shot clock was running down down, and I had to make a play. Leonard was playing very good defense on me. I just tried to shoot it with confidence."
The shot gave the Thunder a 106-101 lead, and they would not look back, holding on to defeat the Spurs 108-103.
Harden answered a quick "no" when asked if he had ever hit a bigger shot during his career.
"Western Conference Finals, it's a big shot," he said. "You know Kevin and Russell [Westbrook] are going to step up; role players have to be aggressive and step up, too. So I just try and take my shot with confidence."
Harden finished with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals on 6-for-11 shooting in 35 minutes.
The Thunder hold a 3-2 series lead over the Spurs with Game 6 set for Wednesday night in Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena.