The Houston Rockets took a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Utah Jazz with a 100-87 win Sunday evening. MVP favorite James Harden wasn't at his best, and he only hit one of his seven three-point attempts, but he still managed to score 24 points.
A big reason Harden consistently puts up big numbers: his ability to get to the free throw line. On Sunday he knocked down seven of his eight attempts from the charity stripe. Harden is a master at drawing contact and making it look like he's been fouled, even when the defender is in perfect position. Case in point:
Dante Exum was called for fouling Harden on this 👀 pic.twitter.com/CJJ5yAM1zG— ESPN (@espn) May 7, 2018
Not everyone, however, enjoys the way Harden plays. It appears Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell is fed up with it, too. After the Jazz's loss Sunday, Mitchell railed against Harden in the tunnel.
Donovan Mitchell walking into the locker room after the Jazz’ Game 4 loss to Houston: “If that’s what he needs to win the MVP, so be it.” #HOUatUTA— Jake Edmonds (@JakeKUTV) May 7, 2018
Donovan Mitchell is fed up with Harden. 👀 pic.twitter.com/2EsSolB36S— Cycle (@bycycle) May 7, 2018
It could have been this play with two minutes remaining that fueled Mitchell's frustration.
This extremely blatant foul is what caused Donovan Mitchell to cry after the game pic.twitter.com/tYkFmHXlBK— Playoff LebronJamesHarden™ (@lbjamesharden) May 7, 2018
Harden made it to the line 13 times (and hit 12 of his attempts) in Game 2. He connected on 85.8 percent of his attempts in the regular season, so if you foul the man, he's probably going to knock 'em down.
The Rockets could close out the series in Game 5 Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST in Houston, airing on TNT.