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Houston Rockets ousted by Thunder in playoffs, but encouraged by growth of young team

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    Houston Rockets James Harden (13) and Francisco Garcia, left stand around during a break in the action against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, May 3, 2013, in Houston. The Thunder won 103-94 to take the best-of-seven series 4-2. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)The Associated Press

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    Houston Rockets Francisco Garcia (32) reacts to being called for a foul as Chandler Parsons (25) smiles in the second half of Game 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Friday, May 3, 2013, in Houston. The Thunder won 103-94 to take the best-of-seven series 4-2. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)The Associated Press

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    Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale questions a referee's call in the second quarter of Game 6 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, May 3, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)The Associated Press

The young Rockets are eager to see what they can do in James Harden's second season in Houston.

The Rockets reached the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and battled back from a 3-0 deficit before being eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6.

Harden was traded to the Rockets just days before the season opener, leaving him little time to mesh with his teammates before stepping in as the leader in Houston.

He says the playoffs were a great learning experience and that he's ready to use the offseason to bond with his teammates and improve.