The reigning NBA MVP performed the 'celebration' in the first quarter of the 135-131 overtime setback on Monday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Houston led 25-10 when P.J. Tucker secured a steal from the Wizards. The forward gathered the ball before tossing it up to Harden in transition.
Harden bolted down the floor and pulled the ball high in his left hand before brining it down for a powerful one-handed jam. After throwing the ball through the rim, Harden doubled over on the baseline. It appeared that he was injured on the play, but it was just a bit of acting from the Rockets superstar.
Harden held his right hand up to his face, pretending to have a nosebleed from jumping so high. He then used his other hand for extra assistance, before looking at his hands and seeing some imaginary blood. Harden then pulled his hands away from his face and smiled before celebrating with his fooled teammates.
This isn't the first time Harden has performed the odd antic. Houston's star player has done the phantom nosebleed several times in the past and it is included in the video game NBA 2K19.
The Rockets guard scored a game-high 54 points and had 13 assists and eight rebounds in the loss. He also had 11 turnovers. John Wall led the Wizards to the win with 36 points, 11 assists and three rebounds.
Harden is averaging a career-high and league-best 31.5 points per game this season. The Rockets host the Dallas Mavericks at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Toyota Center in Houston. The Wizards face the New Orleans Pelicans at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.