James Harden continued his dominance on Monday night, leading the Rockets to a win over the Grizzlies and setting an NBA record in the process.
It’s not a stretch to say that James Harden is currently playing the best basketball of his career. He has followed up his first MVP campaign with even loftier numbers and has stepped up big time for a Rockets team that has dealt with a bunch of injuries.
Harden is leading the league in scoring, free throws made and 3-pointers made. The Rockets have won 10 of their last 11 games and The Beard has topped 40 points six times and 50 points once during that span.
Harden led the charge for Houston against the Grizzlies on New Years Eve, scoring a game-high 43 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and dropping 13 dimes. Harden shot a season-high 27 free throws and he scored 21 points from the charity stripe. Harden has now scored at least 35 points and dished out at least 5 assists in eight games in a row, passing Oscar Robertson‘s record with seven.
Clint Capela also played well, scoring 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and securing 13 rebounds. Gerald Green scored 18 big points off the bench for Houston, making all six of his shots from 3-point range. Danuel House Jr. also came up big for the second game in a row, scoring 16 points and nailing four 3-pointers.
The Memphis Grizzlies were above .500 coming into this game against a Rockets team missing Chris Paul, Eric Gordon and James Ennis. Yet, the Rockets controlled the entire game, leading by as much as 24 points and ultimately winning the matchup 113-101.
The Rockets are now 21-15 and are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth best record in the Western Conference. They’re just three games behind the No.1 seed and are just 2.5 games behind Golden State.
Speaking of the Warriors, the Rockets will take on the defending champions in Oakland in their next game on Thursday. Houston leads the season series 1-0 and they will put the entire league on notice if they can beat the Warriors on their home floor on national television. With the way Houston has been playing in the last couple of weeks, they definitely have a solid chance at leaving Oracle Arena with a win.