A one-sided game saw a little two-headed fireworks midway through the third quarter, when Harden and Turner got in each other's faces for no good reason. With a little less than five minutes remaining in the period and Houston holding a 73-50 lead, Turner prepared to shoot a lay-up in transition during a dead ball, as the Rockets had already been called for a foul. Harden motioned as if he was going to block the meaningless attempt, and Turner decided to pull up and simply hold the ball after all.
The game should have moved along from there, but Harden and Turner appeared to exchange words, and Turner pushed Harden backwards with a right hand to the chest. Harden shoved Turner's hand away and then pursued him, eventually making this a forehead-to-forehard affair as the chatting continued until Turner shoved Harden away with both hands.
That was that, as the referees and players from both teams intervened to ensure that there was no further escalation.
The incident wound up being a blip on the radar, as the Rockets cruised to the 26-point victory. Harden led all scorers with 28 points (on 10-for-17 shooting), four rebounds and four assists. Dwight Howard added 15 points (on 6-for-11 shooting) and seven rebounds in the win.
David West led the Pacers with 15 points (on 5-for-11 shooting) and 10 rebounds. Turner, who was acquired by the Pacers in a trade deadline deal, finished with five points (on 2-for-3 shooting) and one rebound off the bench in the loss. Houston improved to 43-19 with its fourth straight win. Indiana dropped to 46-16 with its third straight loss.