“We didn’t do a good job throughout the night of defending without fouling,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “They got 37 free throws. We fouled, I think, three shooters in the fourth quarter. That’s not what we need to do.”
It was by far Harden’s best game against the Thunder since scoring a career-high 46 points last season. In the three meetings since, Harden had been held to 17.3 points per game on just 37 percent shooting against his former team.
SERGE SHINES FRIDAY
Overshadowed in Friday’s loss at Houston because of Durant’s feat and Harden’s production was the play of Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, who had a monster game.
Ibaka tied his career high of 27 points and added nine rebounds, four assists and six blocked shots.
“He was giving us everything,” said Caron Butler. “He always plays with unbelievable spirit and pride out there and brings it night in and night out on the defensive end. And it transferred to the offensive end.”
Garcia on frustrating Durant in the first half Friday — “It’s all good. It’s competition. That’s what it’s all about, competing. He knows that I mean no harm. I know that we talked at halftime or whatever and he was cool. But when we were on the floor, it’s whatever.”