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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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /

12. May 25, 2015

Line: 45 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 7-11 3-pointers, 12-13 free throws, +21

The only postseason game on this entire list comes not from recent years, but back in 2015 when the Houston Rockets beat a gassed and talented Los Angeles Clippers team in the second round to advance to their first conference finals appearance since 1997.

While he was inconsistent through two rounds, Harden and the Rockets were optimistic they could overcome a green Golden State Warriors team and reach the NBA Finals.

That dream came crashing down on their ears over the course of the five-game series as the Warriors advanced and won their first title.

Down 3-0 in the series and facing elimination, Harden exploded in Game 4 for a dominant performance to keep his team alive.

The Rockets had 45 points in the first quarter as Harden abused the Warriors. After scoring just 12 points in the first half he had 16 in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth to secure the 128-115 win.

It was the Rockets’ fourth-straight win facing elimination in that postseason. Harden’s 45 points were a playoff career-high and is still the high water mark for him.

The Warriors would close things out the next game, with Harden unable to generate offense against the combination of Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. Unfortunately for him, that would be just the first of three times over the next four postseasons that Harden would be eliminated by Stephen Curry and the Warriors.

Next: January 19, 2015