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.
James Harden joins Kobe Bryant and MJ as the 3rd player in last 30 years to score at least 400 points in 10-game span, per Elias Sports Bureau pic.twitter.com/zj4EIWMRfS
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 1, 2019
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.
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.
“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.
Chris Paul on James Harden’s historic run, which has put him in company of Kobe and Jordan and led Rockets from 14th to 4th in West: “It’s crazy, man. It’s crazy to watch the games and witness it…. What he’s doing is unreal.” https://t.co/UTrRe18kZ0
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 1, 2019
“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.
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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