Harden took exception to the officiating after the series opener and believed more fouls should have been called on the Warriors, especially when closing out on jump shots.
Harden referenced the ankle injury that current Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard suffered when he played against the Warriors as a member of the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017 NBA playoffs. Leonard landed on former Warriors center Zaza Pachulia's foot after attempting a jump shot. He missed the remainder of the series as the Spurs lost to Golden State in four games.
"I just want a fair chance, man," Harden told reporters. "Call the game how it's supposed to be called and that's it. I'll live with the results. We all know what happened a few years back with Kawhi. That can change an entire series. Just call the game how it's supposed to be called and we'll live with the results."
Warriors forward Draymond Green downplayed Harden's criticism of the referees.
"I've been fouled by James on a James 3-pointer before. I ain't trying to hear that," Green told reporters. "I think we can all sit here and complain about calls after every game. That's just the nature of the game we play. Refereeing isn't an exact science."
Houston's Chris Paul was ejected with 4.4 seconds remaining for a second technical. He had rebounded a missed shot by Harden that could have tied the game with under 10 seconds left. He argued for a foul and was thrown from the contest.
Harden scored 35 points on 9-of-28 shooting with six assists and four rebounds. Eric Gordon had 27 points and four rebounds. Paul added 17 points, four assists and three boards in 36 minutes.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry had 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists despite being in early foul trouble. Klay Thompson had 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Andre Iguodala and Green each added 14 points.
The Warriors host the Rockets in Game 2 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.