Houston Rockets: James Harden’s 15 most captivating performances

By Josh Cornelissen
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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James Harden
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /

14. November 9, 2017

Line: 35 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals, 5 turnovers, 6-14 3-pointers, 13-14 free throws

Early in the 2017-18 NBA season no one yet expected the Rockets would end up with 65 wins. This was just an early November game played without Chris Paul against LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 117-112 victory turned into an announcement of sorts, that James Harden and the Rockets were not going to have a run-of-the-mill season. Harden put up 35 points to lead the Rockets, chipping in 11 rebounds and 13 assists as part of a dominant triple-double.

Houston defended a lead around 10 points for much of the final frame, with Harden hitting big shots to keep the Cavaliers at bay. When LeBron led a furious comeback to close the gap to one point, Harden pulled the ball free from a scrum of players and found Clint Capela for a crucial and-one alley-oop.

Not simply an offensive maestro, Harden had five steals in the game. Include his turnovers and Harden put up a 5×5 (you can include 3-pointers instead). Given the production, the opponent (LeBron James) and the stage on national television, Harden’s performance was noteworthy.

Next: December 17, 2018