Nets’ James Harden is on fireplace as he returns ‘house’ to Houston

Nets star James Harden gave an MVP-level efficiency Monday in San Antonio. That was simply the warm-up, with the previous MVP making his extremely anticipated return to Houston on Wednesday.

“Yeah, I’m excited simply to return to Houston the place I principally had an unbelievable profession there,” Harden stated. “They confirmed me mad love and respect and I’m simply excited to be taking part in in entrance of these followers. Yeah, I’m fairly excited.”

Harden gained the previous three scoring titles with the Rockets and challenged Golden State’s dominance within the West, taking part in below present Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni. However after the crew flamed out of the playoffs final season and he compelled a commerce to Brooklyn in January, now he heads again for the primary time.

“[My] time there was nice,” Harden stated. “Clearly we got here up brief to win a championship or perhaps a Finals, however simply the work that I put in, hopefully these followers appreciated the whole lot that I’ve performed on the courtroom and off the courtroom and I’m nonetheless persevering with to do off the courtroom as a result of that’s a spot that I name house.
“It’s all the time house and I really feel like I’m nonetheless part of the whole lot and the struggles and the whole lot they undergo. I’m excited to return there and see the acquainted faces, see my household and play a sport and the final sport earlier than the break.”

James Harden goes around a screen
James Harden
Getty Photos

Nic Claxton completed with a career-high 17 factors in 17 minutes for a breakout efficiency. He shot 7 of 9 from the ground, had three blocks and shook off not solely having his left ankle rolled on however a shot to the face.

“Really feel good. Again within the trenches truthfully, get a bit of nicked up and hold taking part in, feels good. Maintain my physique and I’ll be prepared once we play Houston,” stated Claxton after simply his fourth sport of the season.

“It felt good. I obtained a bit of rhythm and I’m beginning to get my legs again a bit of bit, so it felt good to be on the market and my teammates discovered me. James particularly put me in positions to attain. When the sport is made that straightforward for me, I’m gonna take that free cash each time.”

After Claxton had 13 within the second quarter alone, Steve Nash praised his mobility and his work.

“Nic, we all know the expertise,” Nash stated. “All of us consider in Nic’s skill and what he brings to the desk, however typically that growth takes time. Generally you might be fairly error-prone, particularly if you haven’t performed numerous basketball, however his skill to maneuver his toes actually makes up for lots of issues on the ground. He can defend a number of positions.

“He’s so energetic even when he will get overpowered, he makes it actually troublesome on greater bigs. Clearly tonight was his breakout sport, however he’s gotta proceed to develop, know the sport plan, achieve expertise and confidence, however tonight he was nice, and all of us consider in him and suppose he can proceed to enhance.”