James Harden got the feel for what it might be like to be a team's No. 1 option in Oklahoma City's Tuesday night preseason showdown with the Chicago Bulls.
With Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both sitting out the contest, Harden became the go-to guy for the Thunder in its 94-89 loss at the United Center.
Harden had a paltry shooting performance, going just 2-for-17 from the floor and 0-for-4 from 3. However, he did connect on 9-of-12 free throws to finish with 13 points seven rebounds and seven assists.
Serge Ibaka led the Thunder on the night with 24 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Perry Jones III and Eric Maynor were the only two other OKC players to reach double figures, scoring 14 and 13, respectively.
Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Chicago led the majority of the game and took as much as a 14-point lead in the third quarter but the Thunder was able to crawl back to within 87-84 following a Jones dunk with 44 seconds remaining.
Chicago just had too much for the Thunder without its two all-stars, as Boozer slammed the door on OKC with a fadeaway jumper to put the Bulls up by five with 34 seconds to go.
In a side note for the Thunder, center Hasheem Thabeet played arguably his best game since dawning the Thunder blue in the offseason. The 7-foot-3 center only scored six points on 1-of-3 shooting but he pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and also came up with a steal and a block in nearly 26 minutes.
Oklahoma City closes out the preseason on Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks at 7 p.m. in Wichita, Kan.