Last night the Houston Rockets earned victory on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers, 116-110. The Rockets now post a 16-8 record and place fourth in the Western Conference.
The team’s superstar player, James Harden has carried the team almost single-handedly this entire start to the season. Harden is putting up MVP-like numbers averaging 38.7 points, six rebounds and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 44% from the field and 34.9% from the three so far this season. In tonight’s game against the Cavaliers, Harden skyrocketed as he tallied 55 points with only five of those being free throws. According to CBS Sports, Harden averages over 12 free throws a game so this was a pretty big deal. Harden’s 55 points came from shooting 20-of-34 from the field, and 10-of-18 from the three.
The Beard made NBA history in two different ways tonight with his 55 point game. The only other player in NBA history to score more points in a game while attempting five or fewer free throws is Rick Barry. Harden has now also tallied at least 50 points against 15 different franchises. The only other players with more are Kobe Bryant and the GOAT Michael Jordan who both did it against 17 franchises, according to ESPN.
James Harden so far This Season
Harden proves to be an unstoppable force when he steps onto the court. He’s been a beast from the very start of the season and is among the top candidates to win this season’s NBA MVP award. Tonight was Harden’s fourth 50-point game this season and this was the 10th time he’s scored at least 40 points in the 24 games that the Rockets have played so far. Harden’s shooting average of 38.7 points per game topples that of reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who is averaging 30.9 points per game so far this season.
To go along with his 55 points tonight, Harden also recorded eight assists and three boards against the Cavs. Of the 55 points Harden scored last night, 22 of them came in the fourth quarter. It was also Harden’s scoring abilities that ultimately edged the Rockets over the Cavaliers. During the fourth quarter the Cavs scored 24 unanswered points on 10-11 shooting and earned an 11 point lead over Houston. Harden came in hot and scored 15 points cutting the deficit down to only one-point. Harden, Ben McLemore and P.J. Tucker hit crucial shots at the very end of the game to get the Rockets their W.
The Beard just recently had a huge game this season against the Atlanta Hawks. During the Rockets-Hawks game, Harden tacked on 60 points in just 31 minutes. According to USA Today Sports, this marked Harden’s fourth game to score 60, tying him with Michael Jordan for third-most in NBA history.
Trailing Harden tonight during the Rockets’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers was Russel Westbrook who scored less than half of what Harden scored. Westbrook racked up 23 points, six assists and seven rebounds.
The Rockets have today off and play again on Friday against the Orlando Magic. The Magic only post a 11-13 record so the Rockets are currently favored to win. Tip-off tomorrow is at 4 p.m. PST.