Houston Rockets: Top 5 season leaders in PPG in franchise history
By Tevin Williams
Who are the top 5 season leaders in points per game in Houston Rockets’ history?
The Houston Rockets have featured many prolific scorers over their 50 year history.
The franchise started as the San Diego Rockets in 1967, and moved to Houston in 1971. The glory years for the Rockets came in the mid-90’s when Hakeem Olajuwon led the franchise to consecutive titles in 1994 and 1995.
The most recent high-scoring player in Houston is James Harden. The NBA has become a guards’ league, prioritizing pace-and-space basketball and small-ball lineups. The Beard has taken full advantage of this new style of play, as he finished second in scoring last year. Let’s get into the five best scoring seasons in Rockets’ franchise history.
5. Elvin Hayes – 28.4 PPG
Elvin Hayes led the NBA in the 1968-69 season with an average of 28.4 points per game. The San Diego Rockets finished with a 41-41 record. They averaged a blistering 115.3 points per game, but struggled to win consistently because they gave up 115.5. They were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the Western Division Semifinals 4-2.
4. Elvin Hayes – 28.7 PPG
In the 1970-71 season, Hayes averages 28.7 points per game, finishing third in the NBA behind John Havlicek and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Rockets finished with a 40-42 as defense again proved to be their kryptonite. The team failed to make the postseason
3. James Harden – 29.0 PPG
In the 2015-16 season, James Harden averaged 29.0 points per game, good for second in the league. The James Harden-Dwight Howard duo didn’t work as planned, and the Rockets limped to a 41-41 record. The record-setting, 73-win Golden State Warriors eliminated Harden’s Rockets in five games.
2. James Harden – 29.1 PPG
In the 2016-17 season, James Harden had his best year yet. He averaged 29.1 points a game and a career high and league leading 11.2 assists. Mike D’Antoni‘s decision to play Harden at point guard paid off in a big way. The Rockets won 55 games and finished with the third best record in the Western Conference. The Rockets lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals 4-2. James Harden finished second in a tight MVP race after Russell Westbrook.
Related Story: Did James Harden deserve the MVP Award?
1. Moses Malone – 31.1 PPG
In the 1981-82 season, Moses Malone averaged finished second in scoring with 31.1 points per game. The Rockets won 46 games and entered the playoffs as the sixth seed. They faced the Seattle SuperSonics in the first-round, where they were eliminated 2-1.