‘Really F**king Good’- C.J. McCollum Amazed After Iconic Duel With James Harden

Published 12/27/2020, 8:30 AM EST
Dec 26, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports


James Harden and C. J. McCollum had a jaw-dropping duel on Boxing Day. The Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers met in a Western Conference matchup that went to over-time. The two stars of the night were C. J. McCollum and James Harden.

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Both men dropped 44 points as the Trailblazers won after a clutch three-pointer by C.J. in OT. Harden also had 15 assists, becoming the first man ever to have a 40 and 15 assist game to open the season. While his Rockets did lose, the circumstances around the game were astonishing, to say the least.

Most of the Rockets lineup was out with COVID issues while Harden had been at the center of controversy for attending a party. However, if he can play like this a few nights after partying, nobody should care. That’s what McCollum believes.

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Both the Trailblazers and the Rockets will have a hard fight ahead of them in the West. While Portland left with the win, they should wonder why they were stretched so far by a very depleted Rockets squad.

James Harden: Committing to Houston?

Harden did not play like a man looking to make his way out of a team. He dominated on the court and dragged this Houston team to OT against a very strong Portland squad.

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Considering how hard it is to trade for him with his high value, Harden emphasized that point with this performance. Every time he plays, he will be looking to prove how elite of a player he is.

Dec 15, 2020; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden leaves the court after a victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Mandatory Credit: Mike Wyke/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

With the number of years left on his deal, Harden really isn’t in the driver’s seat right now,and Houston can hold off on trading him. Evidently, Harden will be a professional about his business on the court. But there are things to be said about how Harden meshes in with the locker room after all these publicized issues.

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McCollum touched on a salient point about Harden being allowed to act the way he does because of his talent. Considering Portland is also a trade destination for James, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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