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James Harden Dominated Game 1 Behind His 41 Points

James Harden continues to show why he is in the driver seat for MVP. Harden led all scorers in a 110-96 win versus the young Utah Jazz team.

Harden finished with 41 points, seven assists and eight boards on 7-of-12 from deep, while Paul added 17 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals at 3-of-6 from three-point range.

For the most part, I’m going to do what I do,” Harden said. “Offensively I think this team, us, we’re different. We’ve seen so many different defenses throughout the year that have prepared us for this moment, whether it’s Gobert being back at the rim or teams switching or whatever. We’ve seen pretty much it all, all year. We watch film and we figure out how we can create 3s and create opportunities for each other and then go out there and play our butts off. Pretty simple.”

Jazz coach Quin Synder chimed in on defending Harden.

“He’s a special player,” said Synder. “It’s hard to give credit to all the things that he does. He impacts the game in so many ways. You have to try to make it harder for him in so many different facets.

The Jazz are short-handed with Ricky Rubio’s hamstring injury which could have him sidelined for a week. But don’t expect Harden to be as affected by Rubio as Westbrook was during the OKC series.

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