The Phoenix Suns defeated the Brooklyn Nets 113-107 on Saturday.
Given that this was a battle between last year’s Western Conference champs and this year’s Eastern Conference favorites, most expected the game to be a slobber knocker.
Because the stakes in this one were about as high as they can be 20 games into the season, emotions were raw. And that was on full display when Nets fans opted to boo one of their own star players.
With Brooklyn down 20 and just over nine minutes remaining in the game, James Harden turned the ball over on a particularly ugly sequence.
That’s when fans snapped:
Nets fans start booing Harden after this turnover. 😳
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) November 28, 2021
Fans rarely go after their own stars like this, but that particular turnover wasn’t the real reason they targeted Harden. It was a cumulative effect because of how terrible he had been scoring-wise all night.
That’s one way to celebrate divorcing Johnny Manziel. https://t.co/jQ28nDRqn1
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 24, 2021
Even though Harden finished with a triple-double, 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists, he shot 4-of-15 from the field and 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.
This has been something of a rough month for Harden. First Scottie Pippen absolutely destroyed him recently for no real reason. Then his ongoing beef with Chris Paul was re-analyzed, with him getting a much less sympathetic edit this time around. And now this.
Fortunately, the Nets still feel like the favorites to ultimately emerge from the East this year. And if they ultimately end up winning a championship, nobody will remember this petty stuff from the first quarter of the season.