Houston Rockets: James Harden’s 15 most captivating performances
10. April 1, 2015
Line: 51 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 8-9 3-pointers, 11-13 free throws
The above stat line may seem like an April Fool’s joke, with Harden dropping in 51 points with 8-9 (88.8 percent) shooting from 3-point range.
While it should be qualified with the fact it was against a struggling Kings team, Harden’s line was nonetheless incredibly impressive.
The setting was a few days before the end of the regular season, and the Rockets were settling into their spot in second place in the Conference. Harden was also submitting his resume for MVP, and he effectively ended that with a flourish on April 1, 2015.
Harden’s 51 came on 25 shots, and no matter who the Kings threw at him they were relatively helpless to stop him. Late in the game, the Kings had stuck around, and Houston had the ball up two with around five minutes left. Harden proceeded to go on a personal 8-0 to give his team firm control.
Although Harden’s resume was impressive he would ultimately finish second to Stephen Curry in the MVP race, and a few weeks later in the Western Conference playoffs as well. But on April 1 Harden was the top dog, unable to be stopped by the Sacramento Kings.
Next: January 16, 2019