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James Harden On The Rockets Small-Ball Lineup Against The Lakers: "I Don’t Care If You’re 7 Feet, If You Don’t Have Heart It Doesn’t Matter."

Credit: NBA

Credit: NBA

James Harden and the Houston Rockets made a big statement on Friday night when they beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 112-97, behind a great night by Harden and Russell Westbrook. The Rockets have been a total mystery this postseason because of their small-ball lineup. It worked in the regular season but once you enter the big stage, things change a lot.

Well, that wasn't the case with the Texans; they dismantled the Lakers and earned a huge victory to start the series.

The small-ball strategy has been discussed over and over again and yesterday wasn't the exception. The Lakers have two 7 footers in Dwight Howard and Javale McGee; Anthony Davis and LeBron James are all taller than the entire Rockets roster, but that wasn't a problem last night. James Harden explained they aren't as tall as the rest of the teams competing in the bubble, but they have a lot of heart and that is a big factor to win these games.

"If you don’t have heart, it doesn’t matter," Harden said after the game. "If you don’t have a dog in you, it doesn’t matter."

Russell Westbrook, PJ Tucker, Austin Rivers, Robert Covington and even Jeff Green demonstrated that they do have a lot of courage and heart to try to beat the Lakers.

Russ was spotted preventing Danny Green from shooting the ball during a timeout.

PJ Tucker didn't let any rebound go away, he fought for anything against anybody. Austin Rivers, Covington and Green also had good moments in the game, defending the ball and attacking the Lakers.

This team looked very well last night. Their fans will expect to see this same pace in the second game of the series. Harden already revealed what makes this team special and a threat for their rivals and heart is something that you can take away from a team trying to win the championship.