James Harden. Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. May 1, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers guard James Harden (1) reacts against the Dallas Mavericks in the second half during game five of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While James Harden has been one of the NBA’s top scorers throughout his career, his playoff performances have often fallen well short of his regular-season standard. That happened on Wednesday night as Harden and the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Clippers were on the wrong end of a 123-93 final score. With the loss, Los Angeles gave home-court advantage in the series back to the Mavericks. Harden was 2-for-12 from the field, 1-for-7 on threes. He finished with just seven points and Los Angeles was -25 with him on the court. And while a 30-point loss can’t be blamed on just one player, his performance certainly didn’t help.

As the game was wrapping up, Harden came under fire for another poor performance in a big playoff game.

Fortunately for Harden and the Clippers, Wednesday’s loss didn’t end the season. Game 6 will be played in Dallas on Friday night. But if the series is going to return to Los Angeles for a Game 7, Harden’s Game 6 will need to be significantly better than his Game 5 was.

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