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James Harden questions officiating after Boston Celtics complete epic comeback

Harden was called for consecutive offensive fouls in the final seconds as the Celtics won despite trailing by 26 at one stage.

THE ONCE NBA-leading Houston Rockets have suddenly hit a four-game losing skid after Thursday’s wild 99-98 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks Houston Rockets star James Harden Source: Tom Pennington

Houston, who entered with the best road record in the league, led the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics by 26 points just before half-time but Boston roared back, closing within two with 4:36 remain setting up a crazy finish.

James Harden led the Rockets with 34 points but made just seven field goals and was on the wrong end of two controversial calls with under 10 seconds remaining.

After a Jayson Tatum dunk brought the Celtics within one 7.3 seconds from the end, Harden was called for an offensive foul on the ensuing inbounds play.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Boston took advantage as Al Horford hit the eventual game-winner to put Boston in front for the first time all night with just three seconds left on the clock.

Everyone in TD Garden knew Harden was going to get the ball to attempt a final shot but he was whistled again for running into Marcus Smart trying to get free.

After the game, Harden twice questioned why there were just two officials calling the nationally-televised game.

Source: Motion Station/YouTube

Pau Gasol stars for Spurs

A vintage Pau Gasol was on display in the San Antonio Spurs’ 119-107 win over the New York Knicks. The 37-year-old scored 17 points to go with 11 rebounds and seven assists. Despite missing Kawhi Leonard for most of the season so far, the Spurs are still only three-and-a-half games behind the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors.

James Harden was 0 for seven with four turnovers when defended by Marcus Smart, who filled up the stat sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks while registering a plus-three rating.

Source: Ximo Pierto/YouTube

Thursday night results

Orlando Magic 102-89 Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks 102-96 Minnesota Timberwolves
Boston Celtics 99-98 Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs 119-107 New York Knicks
Portland Trailblazers 114-110 Philadelphia 76ers

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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