The tension between James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo is no secret to the NBA community. The two have been exchanging blows all season long and on Sunday night, they were slated to face off for the first time since the season got postponed back in March.
As the NBA’s best performing team, most thought it would be Milwaukee who would end up with the win.
But in the end, it was Harden who was able to shut down Giannis, and it was his team who came out on top.
James Harden with some clutch late-game defense on Giannis 🔒 pic.twitter.com/DRI5TxYjcr
— ESPN (@espn) August 3, 2020
After the game, Giannis took to Twitter to relay a short message: on to the next one.
Good one to learn from. Let’s get the next one. pic.twitter.com/6i9EMPLhAs
— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) August 3, 2020
The game itself was hard-fought to the end. Giannis finished with 36 points and 18 rebounds while Harden dropped 24 and an impressive 6 steals.
Between the Harden/Giannis beef, and the interesting nature of their matchup (small ball vs. tall ball), we’d be lying if we said a Rockets vs. Bucks Finals would not be an epic conclusion to the 2020 season.
And, if we’ve learned anything from Sunday night’s game, it’s that the Rockets shouldn’t be counted out in the race for the title — not so long as they’ve got Harden.
And if he continues to play defense like we’ve seen these past two games, they might even be considered favorites.