James Harden is shocking the NBA this season, and his 50-point triple-double against the Philadelphia 76ers put him in the record books.
I don’t know how many people predicted that Harden would have such an incredible year, but kudos to you if you did. The Houston Rockets won their 35th game of the season on Friday when they beat Philly, 123-118, and Harden recorded his second triple-double of the season with 50 points.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, no other player in NBA history has done that.
The Beard finished with 51 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, and it’s been less than a month since he torched the New York Knicks with 53 points, 17 helpers and 16 boards. Not only is he the only player to tally multiple 50-point triple-doubles in a season, but there have also been just three such games since 1983, and Russell Westbrook is the only name alongside Harden, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
After his dominant performance, Harden’s season averages include 29 points and 11.6 assists a night, second and first in the league, respectively. He’s also adding in 8.3 rebounds — a career-high — while maintaining a 45 percent clip from the field.
Houston improved to 35-15 on the shoulders of the MVP front-runner while boasting the NBA’s third-best record and are one of three teams to have a winning percentage over 70.
Coach Mike D’Antoni is working with the most talented team since his days in Phoenix, and he’s head and shoulders above everyone else in the Coach of the Year race. Adding to the Rockets’ success is a finally healthy Eric Gordon who’s already surpassed his total games played from last season and is in the mix for Sixth Man of the Year. He’s averaging 17.4 points a night while shooting 39.2 percent from downtown, and the only player who’s made more threes than him is Stephen Curry.
Unreliable defense is the only thing stopping Houston from being a contender, but their entertainment value is through the roof, and James Harden is single-handedly revolutionizing the point guard position.
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