8. The Beard elevates over The Stifle Tower
In a game that took place just eight days before Christmas, James Harden found it within himself to play a Grinch-like role against a very familiar foe by deciding to accept a head-to-head meeting at the rim — and slamming down a vicious dunk — over one of the game’s premier shot-blockers.
With 4:29 left to play in the third quarter, Harden used his quick first step to blow by Donovan Mitchell and drove right to place Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert on an official highlight poster in a 102-97 Rockets victory on Dec. 17.
"“I still got some juice in these legs,” Harden told the Associated Press after the game. “The lane was open all night. The bigs were going back, taking away the lob, so I had to get to the rim and finish.”"
Although Harden’s slam was not the play that came to define the final result of the following Western Conference showdown, The Beard’s incredible dunk would manage to send the majority of Rockets fans — including NBA Twitter — into bedlam on the way to a 47-point night at the Toyota Center.