James Harden's Attempt to Draw a Foul in Game's Final Seconds Goes Horribly Wrong


Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has made a career out of drawing fouls. This year, he has taken 556 free throws, which is about 100 more than anyone else.

In each of the last four seasons, Harden has led the league in free throws attempted.

So he’s used to getting the whistle.

But Tuesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, he was a bit too overconfident that he would get a call.

With time running out in the fourth quarter and the Rockets trailing 118-114, Harden dribbled up the right side of the court.

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He was being guarded by Jrue Holiday, who he was trying to go around. But Holiday, an excellent defender, stayed in front of him with his arms straight up.

Harden actually pushed off Holiday, but he acted like he was bumped and ran out of bounds with the ball.

He held his hands up pleading with the refs for a foul, but there was no foul on the play. It was ruled out of bounds and a turnover on Harden.

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New Orleans got the ball back with 15 seconds and Holiday made a couple of free throws to seal the 121-116 win in Houston.

The Pelicans were playing without their star, Anthony Davis, so it was a big upset.

“Jrue Holiday is probably one of the best defenders in the league, if not the best,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said, reported ESPN. “Obviously, he did a heck of a job on him.”

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Holiday had 19 points, eight assists and six blocked shots. Reclamation project Jahlil Okafor, the former No. 3 draft pick, continued his strong play, scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for the Pelicans.

On the six blocks, Holiday said he channeled his “inner Anthony.” Davis is second in the NBA with 2.56 blocks per game.

Harden had 37 points for the Rockets but made just 11 of 32 shots from the field. It was his 24th game in a row with more than 30 points.

“Terrible loss for us,” Harden said. “Terrible. Letdown.”

The Rockets fell to 29-21. The Pelicans improved to 23-28.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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