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Sports

James Harden Joins Exclusive Club with MJ and Kobe as 'Unreal' Hot Streak Continues

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden joined an exclusive club Monday night in leading his surging team to a 113-101 win over Memphis.

Harden scored 43 points to give him 408 points over the last 10 games. Only Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant have done that in the last 30 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Harden is also the first player to score at least 40 points in four straight games since his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook did it two years ago, reported ESPN.

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The Rockets star had a triple-double with 43 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists against Memphis. He’s now averaging 33.3 points per game, some five points higher than the second-highest scorer in the league, the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry.

“It’s crazy, man,” injured Houston guard Chris Paul said, reported ESPN. “It’s crazy to watch the games and to witness it. … What he’s doing is unreal.”

It was the Rockets’ fifth straight win and 10th in their last 11 games.

The streak has catapulted them to first in the Southwest Division at 21-15 and fifth in the Western Conference.

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“I don’t know how you get any better than what he’s playing,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said, reported ESPN. “Defensively, too. He comes up with steals, triple-doubles like it’s nothing. So, yeah, he’s playing at a different level.”

Harden was 8-of-19 from the floor, 6-of-12 from 3-point range and 21-of-27 from the line, setting a career high for free throws attempted. He also had two steals.

“I’m just in attack mode. They tried to shake some things up tonight and run a double-team at me and whatnot. I did a poor job. I did a poor job of just not controlling the basketball, basically giving them transition points by turnovers,” Harden said.

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He did have nine turnovers.

“I have to take care of the ball more but just continue to be aggressive and make plays for my team,” Harden added.

He has hit at least five 3-pointers in seven straight games; Curry is the only other player to do that, according to ESPN.

“What he’s doing is a Kobe. Man, that’s a Kobe run. That’s what he’s doing. He’s doing it so effortlessly. That’s the thing. It’s not like he’s forcing it or like he’s shooting the ball every time. I mean, it’s crazy,” Rockets guard Austin Rivers told ESPN.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
Location
Massachusetts
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English
Topics of Expertise
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