James Harden has scored 41 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a stunning overtime win over the Golden State Warriors in an NBA playoff game featuring brilliant offensive and defensive plays from both teams.
The Rockets won 126-121 in Houston on Sunday (AEST) for their first victory in the western conference semi-final showdown.
James Harden dominated the Warriors in game three.Credit:AP
The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-1, with game four on Tuesday (AEST) in Houston.
Harden, still suffering vision issues after Warriors forward Draymond Green hit him in the face and cut his left eyelid in game two, made a big three-pointer late in overtime and added a running floater in the final 26 seconds to seal the win.
"Close the game," said Harden, describing his mindset in the final furious minute of overtime.
"That's what I'm here for. That's what I do."
Green drew howls from Rockets fans when his hand swiped Harden near his right eye in the opening quarter.
Harden duelled with the Warriors' Kevin Durant, who also had a monster game.
Durant finished with 46 points, including making six of 10 three-point attempts.
He started started slowly with just 12 first-half points before exploding offensively.
But Warriors sharpshooter Steph Curry struggled.
He had 17 points but missed 16 of 23 field goals including a lay-up and an open dunk in the final minutes of overtime.
Eric Gordon added a playoff career-high 30 points with a playoff-best seven three-pointers for Houston.
Green notched his sixth career post-season triple-double (19 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) while Andrew Bogut spent just under three-minutes on the court and it was disastrous for the Warriors.
When the Australian centre entered the game in the second-quarter it was a tight contest with Houston up 27-26
When Bogut was subbed out the Rockets had jumped to a 36-27 lead.
The Rockets used the momentum to outscore the Warriors 33-23 in the second period.
The Rockets, with a small, mobile line-up are a tough match-up for Bogut.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr is starting small forward Andre Iguodala instead and going with more agile big men Kevon Looney and Jonas Jerebko off the bench before the veteran.
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