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James Harden drew a ridiculous foul against the Bulls

James Harden drew a ridiculous foul against the Bulls

James Harden attempts 10.7 free throws per game which is a major factor in how he stays among the top scorers in the NBA every year. Game officials tend to fall for his tricks, and there was no greater example than what occured in Friday's 121-117 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls. 

Harden didn't get free throws as a direct result of this botched call -- he was 11 of 14 at the stripe and had 42 points -- but it led to Michael Carter-Williams being fouled out as he tried to front Harden

The call was awarded by Tony Brothers at 2:03 of the extra session as Harden, who is 6-5 and 220 pounds, literally hopped onto Carter-Williams' back for a piggyback ride and took him to the ground.

It's hardly the first time that this technique, if you call it that, was used by Harden. He did this to Jrue Holiday in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans last season.

That NBA game officials whistles this in favor of the offensive player is why John Wall had been annoyed earlier this season with the lack of respect from officials. It has led to nine technical fouls against the Wizards' point guard, but suffice to say if he took the tact the whistle is unlikely to be in his favor. 

When the Wizards lost a game in Houston a few seasons ago, it was Harden who grabbed then-Wizards forward Trevor Ariza (now his Houston teammate) to draw the foul and get the ball to win the game on a final possession.

Harden is a near impossible cover as it is because of his size and strength, but when he's gets the benefit of the doubt despite officials knowing his flair for salesmanship is hard to justify.

If the history of a player is taken into account when the league office deals out fines and suspensions for bad behavior, then why not raise the bar on what's a foul against players who do this consistently?

Will some calls that they deserve not be given because of reputation? Of couse. But until they clean up their act, erring on the side of caution and fairness is justifiable.

It'll never happen. But it should. This isn't a "superstar" calls. It's just a disgrace.

[RELATED: Paul Pierce: Isaiah Thomas is 'easily the best point guard' in the East]

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USA Women's World Cup: USA vs. Spain, how to watch, time, live stream, fun facts

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USA Today

USA Women's World Cup: USA vs. Spain, how to watch, time, live stream, fun facts

The prohibitive favorites coming into the tournament, Team USA has gotten off to a perfect start. Shattering records en route to an 18-0 goal differential in group play, their biggest test thus far has been Sweden, whom they dismantled with ease 2-0.  Now things get serious. 

On June 24 they'll take on Spain in their first game of the single-elimination knockout round. If they win, they'll take on France in the round of eight, who defeated Brazil in extra time. Spain finished Group B in second place (1-1-1, 4pts), while USA finished Group H in first place (3-0-0, 9pts).

Team USA is attempting to become the first team since Germany in 2007 to repeat as World Cup champions. 

HOW TO WATCH THE 2019 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: USA vs. SPAIN

Who: Team USA vs. Spain
What: Game 4 Women's World Cup
When: Monday, June 24
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Where: Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims
TV Channel: FS1, NBCSN
Stream Online: Watch the World Cup on fuboTV.

FUN FACTS:

  • Spain and the U.S. have never faced off in a World Cup match. The last time they played each other was an international friendly on Jan 22, 2019, where USA won 1-0. 
  • In their 13-0 rout over Thailand, USA set the record for most goals in a game and Alex Morgan tied the record for most goals in a game (5) 

 

WHAT'S THE REST OF THE TOURNAMENT LOOK LIKE?

Sweden vs. Canada: 3:00 p.m. ET, 6/24, FOXS1

Italy vs. China PR: 12:00 p.m. ET, 6/25, FOXS1

Japan vs. Netherlands: 3:00 p.m. ET, 6/25, FOXS1

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Elena Delle Donne's second consecutive double-double powers the Washington Mystics past the Atlanta Dream

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Elena Delle Donne's second consecutive double-double powers the Washington Mystics past the Atlanta Dream

The Washington Mystics captured their seventh victory of the season in an 89-73 rout of the Atlanta Dream Sunday afternoon. 

Mystics' forward, Elena Delle Donne led all scorers with 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field, 3-for-6 from 3-point range, and added 12 rebounds; this marked Delle Donne's second consecutive double-double of the season. 

Delle Donne came out of halftime scorching as she scored eight of her 21 points in a game-changing 14-0 run to begin the third. The Mystics' ended the third quarter outscoring the Dream 28-7 and never looked back. 


Kristi Toliver tallied 17 points and drilled three of her six 3-point attempts; those 3-pointers were enough to move her above Nicole Powell for ninth all-time in 3-pointers made (581). 

The Mystics are currently leading the league in points (85.6) and 3s per game (9.13).

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