Second-year Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen is having a breakout season, highlighted by a block-of-the-year candidate on a LeBron James attempted dunk in December.
On Wednesday, he made reigning league MVP and favorite to do it again James Harden his next superstar victim with an emphatic block to deny a dunk at the end of the second half.
It was a sign of good things to come for the Nets, who blew their eight-point halftime lead in the face of a monster effort from Harden, only to stun Houston with a 10-0 run in overtime to pull out a 145-142 win.
Harden roars back in second half
Harden came out of halftime scorching, dropping 22 points in a third quarter that saw the Rockets turn an eight-point deficit into a nine-point lead to start the fourth quarter.
He ended up with 58 points, his second straight 50-point effort after dropping 57 in Monday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies. It extended his streak of 30-point games to 18, but it had to have burned after the late Rockets collapse led to a Brooklyn win.
Harden’s heroics not enough
Two of Harden’s biggest points came in the final seconds of regulation after P.J. Tucker missed a pair of free throws with Houston leading 129-128 with 15.2 seconds remaining. Harden barreled into the paint to snag the offensive rebound and earn his own trip to the line, where he hit both free throws.
Houston needed them both to force the extra session, as Spencer Dinwiddie hit his second 3-pointer in as many possessions that tied the game.
Harden had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his step-back 3 missed on the other end. It was one of a new NBA record 70 3-point attempts on the night from the Rockets, who hit 23 of them.
Rockets blow multiple big leads
The Rockets took control early in overtime and looked well on their way to a win, leading 142-135 with 1:28 remaining in the extra session. James Nunnally’s 3-pointer to give them the seven-point lead was the third 3-point possession of overtime for the Rockets and looked like a dagger.
But Brooklyn closed on a torrid run, scoring from outside, in the paint and at the line with 10 unanswered points from that point on. When Joe Harris made a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds remaining, the Rockets were relegated to depending on a desperation Gerald Green jumper to try and force a second overtime. It did not go in.
Allen, Dinwiddie big for Nets
Allen was huge the whole night, tallying 20 points, 24 rebounds and three blocks, while Dinwiddie added 10 assists to his 33 points that included the two huge 3-pointers to force overtime.
The loss saw the Rockets squander big leads in the fourth quarter and overtime. Houston led 103-90 with 9:42 remaining in regulation, then let the seven-point lead slip away in the extra session.
The collapse in regulation also included blowing a 128-122 lead with with 28.6 seconds left, ending a streak of 682 consecutive games the Rockets had won when holding a a six-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation, according to ESPN.
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