NBA: James Harden hails Rockets' aggression against Warriors

Houston Rockets is back level against Golden State Warriors after, according to James Harden, it took a more aggressive stance.

Rockets star James Harden   -  Getty Images

James Harden pinpointed Houston Rockets' more aggressive approach in the past two games against Golden State Warriors after squaring its NBA playoff series at 2-2.

Warriors led the Western Conference semifinal matchup 2-0 but Rockets has responded in fine fashion, levelling the tie with Monday's 112-108 win in Game 4. And star man Harden, who contributed 38 points and 10 rebounds, revealed afterwards that Houston had acknowledged a need to change its approach in order to stop the defending champion.

Rockets ran Golden State close last season, too, and Harden believes his side is well equipped to challenge the best. "We talked about it after the first two games," he told a news conference. "They did what they were supposed to do. Then we had an opportunity to go back home and do what we're supposed to do and we did that.

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"Now it's best out of three and whoever can get a road win. For us, it was about being aggressive, our mentality changed after Game 2 to be more aggressive on both ends of the ball.

"Defensively, we had to make sure that everything they got wasn't easy. They still got a lot of offensive rebounds and missed a lot of open shots, but we did also. Both teams were fighting, you've got tired legs, guys playing a lot of minutes, and that's where we can make the plays."

 

He added: "Most teams can't go back at them. Most teams don't have the personnel to compete with them defensively and then, offensively, go back at them. That's all we're doing. We know what's at stake, we know who we're playing against, we're not going to let up. We're going to keep coming at you until the end of the game.

"Every possession is going to be a fight, going to be a battle, and we've got to get ready for Game 5."

Harden's eye, which hindered him in Game 2, was still bloodshot as he faced the media, yet he insists it is no longer a problem. "It just looks crazy. It's getting better," he said. "I'm able to run around and see what I'm doing, and that's all that matters.

"It'll probably be another couple of days or maybe another week until it clears out, so I keep putting my eye drops in and I don't feel any pain or soreness in my eye. It should be good."