By Cecil HurtSports Editor In two consecutive nights watching the NBA Playoffs — which frankly haven’t been compelling in 2017 as Golden State and Cleveland appear to be on a collision course — you could see the two sides of “clutch” on display. The last thing I want to do here is throw darts at James Harden of the Houston Rockets, a great player with a unique style. But on Thursday night, when Houston absolutely needed its star to take over, Harden was nowhere to be found. Worse, he actually could be found as he was having his worst game of the season in a Game Six debacle against the San Antonio Spurs. That’s what caused me to start thinking about “clutch” — and an Alabama connection. It was 22 years ago that Robert Horry, arguably the University of Alabama’s greatest NBA player (Latrell Sprewell would probably be the closest competition) began his journey into clutch-shooting, game-winning history. Playing for the same team as Harden, the Houston Rockets, Horry hit the buzzer-beater that won Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against — who else? — the San Antonio Spurs. Life takes strange turns. Had Sean Elliott not failed a pre-trade physical, Horry would have been playing for the Detroit Pistons that season. There would have been no role alongside Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, no sweep of Orlando in the NBA Finals and maybe no seven rings in his future. There’s no way to rewind the past and find…more detail
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