The infamous Beard did it again, this time against the Sacramento Kings. On Wednesday night, James Harden was on frenzy mode as he broke his own record by scoring 51 points and secured the Rockets a 115-111 win.
However, although some said that the Kings stood no chance against Houston, it wasn’t an easy fight. By the end of the game, Harden touched the ball 76 times, while in the last couple of minutes he was pushed to the free throw line. There, he marked both shots and hit a new career milestone and a boost in this season’s race for the MVP award.
The Beard is currently the only Houston player with two 50-point games during the same season. Only Cavs’ guard Kyrie Irving had an identical achievement during this season.
But lauding Harden is pointless since he is already leading the NBA with more than 30 30-point games and nine games in which he scored more than 40 points. He also leads the league with his 30 games in which he attempted at least 10 free throws, even though he had missed nearly 160 games due to various injuries this season.
“He finds a way to wow our team every time he goes out there. He’s just so crafty and he scores in so many different ways, it’s definitely fun to watch,”
Rockets forward Trevor Ariza recently said about Harden.
Coach Kevin McHale acknowledged that no player could shoot much better than Harden did in the second half when he easily nailed 27 points, and missed only three shots.
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins described Harden as a notoriously tough guy to guard. He also said that the word “stop” could not be used when talking about James Harden.
Cousins was the Kings’ leading player of the night with his 24 points, 10 assists, and 21 rebounds although he had missed Monday’s game to recover. He also marked a career-high 6 blocks.
Sacramento coach George Karl acknowledged he had never coached a player that could “put up so many things into a game.” Coach Karl was very impressed with Cousins’ three steals, six blocks, a pair of charges, and at least ten other possessions he secured his team with due to his defensive skills.
But the last eight minutes of the game were crucial. Sacramento already landed within 104-102 in the last five minutes and a half. Still, the Rockets quickly rallied as Harden’s 8-0 run secured the team a 112-104 lead.
Soon afterward, Sacramento’s four straight points cut the deficit to four with less than 60 seconds left, but they failed to score again after that point.
In the third quarter, Harden nailed 17 points, while in the last couple of minutes he already earned 49 points and knocked down two free throws to break his own career record.
Last night’s performance pushed Harden forward into the race for the MVP title and put him in direct competition against the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and the Warriors’ Stephen Curry.
Although some say that Curry is the definite winner since he plays for the best team in the NBA, Harden continues to dominate almost all games he plays.
Image Source: Zee News