Harden didn’t “wear down”, he folded. His performance was unlike anything we’ve seen from him all year, and in my opinion the most unlikely performance we’ve seen this season from any player, good or bad.
He didn’t fail because he tried too hard, or missed too many shots — that wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. He failed for the worse reason possible — because he didn’t seem to care, and moved around like a zombie all game, avoiding the responsibility of even trying to rise to the occasion. By no means do the Rockets have enough talent to go all the way, but assuming Harden just did what he always does, they should have survived at least one more game. I hang this “L” on Harden much more than I do on D’Antoni.