But it took seven Rockets players scoring in double figures to pick up the slack for their captain and propel Houston to a 111-98 Game 2 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and a 2-0 playoff series lead.
While Harden barely led Houston in scoring with 21 points, Danuel House Jr. shined with 19 of his own.
Harden was only 2-for-11 from beyond the arc in 36 minutes.
The Rockets, though, had a total team effort, especially from Jeff Green and Austin Rivers off the bench, who each scored 15 and 11 points, respectively.
All this happened without Russell Westbrook, who was still kept out of the lineup due to injury.
Houston was actually behind by six to the Thunder at halftime.
Game 3 is set for Saturday at 5 p.m.
SEE ALSO: Rockets win big without Westbrook, take 1-0 lead against OKC