7. November 26, 2018
Line: 54 points, 8 rebounds, 13 assists, 7-15 3-pointers, 13-15 free throws, team-high +7
The Houston Rockets didn’t get off to a strong start to the 2018-19 season.
At the time of their November 26 game against the Washington Wizards, the Rockets were 9-10, a far cry from the 65 wins of a year ago.
By the time Thanksgiving had come and gone, the Rockets were in a slump that included a 2-9 stretch of results. A mini road trip had started poorly, and it was ending in Washington against a mediocre Wizards squad.
Harden wanted to win, pouring in 54 points to go along with 13 assists. Feeding his teammates opened up space for him to drive into the lane. He went to the left side of the rim again and again with no Wizards capable of slowing him down.
This was an early manifestation of what was to come, Harden putting the team on his back to chase contention. In total he had 11 turnovers in the game, forcing the pass when it wasn’t there or his teammates weren’t ready for it. That should not bar an otherwise heroic performance by Harden, albeit in a losing effort in overtime.
Next: January 27, 2017