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Rockets: Giannis’ jabs at James Harden’s defense are now haunting him

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Analyzing the jabs between the superstars

When it comes down to it, both players’ criticisms of the others are either exaggerations or just plain wrong. Against the Rockets, Giannis made 2-of-5 from beyond the arc to help him finish with 36 points and 18 rebounds on the night. That’s not exactly only running and dunking.

As for Giannis’ comments, we’ve covered the flaws in both of his points in detail over the months since, including pointing out that Harden has once led the league in assists per game (2016-17) and has established himself as an elite defender in the post.

Watch: Covington rudely stuffs Giannis. Related Story

Still, nothing is as sweet as letting your game do the talking, and on Sunday, James Harden did just that against the Greek Freak.

How James Harden and the Houston Rockets silenced Giannis

As ESPN revealed on SportsCenter after the Rockets took on the Bucks, Milwaukee was 214-2 entering Sunday’s game when leading by eight points with less than three minutes remaining. That all changed thanks in large part to James Harden, who proceeded to do this against a man six inches taller.

James Harden with some clutch late-game defense on Giannis ? pic.twitter.com/DRI5TxYjcr

— ESPN (@espn) August 3, 2020

In the final two minutes of play, James Harden stripped Giannis on a surefire dunk, forced him out of the paint in a post-up situation, and then caused him to turn the ball over.

Next: Will the narrative ever change?

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