"It felt great to be back home, back in L.A.,” Harden said. "And it felt really good to win the game. When Russell went down, I was just trying to be productive, whether that was penetrating to create for others or make plays. When Kevin (Durant) got back out there, he led us to the victory.”
As humble as he is versatile, Harden played a key role, recording a season-high 24 minutes.
"He has some (point guard) in him,” Durant said. "He can also play small forward or shooting guard. He’s a very versatile player who is doing a great job. He gives us a good spark off the bench.”
Harden, 20, never played point guard at Arizona State but helped the Sun Devils end a lengthy NCAA Tournament drought.
"I handled the ball a little bit,” Harden said. "When we got the rebound and pushed it I had to make quick decisions.”
It’s his decision-making that general manager Sam Presti talked about more than his perimeter shooting when the Thunder selected him No. 3 overall in the draft.
Harden’s shooting has been sub-par. He’s shooting 36.7 percent from the field but is 43.8 percent on 3-pointers.
"His shots will start to drop,” Brooks said. "He’s a good shooter. What I like is he’s making some good decisions and making good plays.”