James Harden was starring for the Nets on Christmas Day against the Lakers, but he delivered an unwelcomed present to Talen Horton-Tucker.
Certainly feeling the pressure to step up given the COVID absences of the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day, James Harden was ready to step up inside the newly minted Crypto.com Arena against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Unfortunately for the mercurial guard, the biggest takeaway for many fans isn’t going to be the prolific performance he delivered for his team but, rather, an ugly incident that led to him getting a flagrant 1 foul called against him.
In the second half, Harden was being guarded on the perimeter by Talen Horton-Tucker. Looking to create some separation, the Nets All-Star went into THT with his left arm. Unfortunately for Horton-Tucker, the contact landed a little bit south of his torso.
Watch James Harden hit Talen Horton-Tucker with low blow in Lakers-Nets
Not only did Harden hit THT below the belt, he then came down on the Lakers player’s hand after his shot attempt.
Though it’s not a good look — and a painful look, for sure — for Harden, there doesn’t appear to be any malice in that play. Still, it was probably deserving of the flagrant 1 call that was levied on the Brooklyn guard.
For Harden’s part, though, the low blow shouldn’t totally overshadow that he led his team with a 36-10-10 triple-double on the road in Los Angeles on Christmas Day. Without Kevin Durant and a litany of other players, that’s a huge moment for the often maligned star.