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 Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images /

9. January 16, 2019

Line: 58 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 16-34 field goals, 5-19 3-pointers, 21-23 free throws

If this list was ordered according to the quality of each game, this performance by Harden would most likely be second or third.

In the middle of January, Harden was hitting historic numbers on his scoring streak (consecutive games of scoring 30 points or more) and showed no signs of slowing down.

Unfortunately for the Rockets, and fortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, Houston was also dealing with a myriad of injuries at this point. They hosted the Nets without Chris Paul or Clint Capela, and Eric Gordon went to the locker room during this game. Gerald Green had to play 41 minutes, and Austin Rivers 46 in the overtime contest.

Because go to overtime this game did. The Nets for their part were incredible and ultimately won the game in the extra period. But Harden put the team on his back and was unconscionable about attacking the rim and drawing contact. While his outside shot wasn’t falling — 5-19 from 3-point range — he attempted 23 free throws.

Brooklyn tried all sorts of defenders on him, but no one was able to keep him from scoring one way or another. If it wasn’t for late-game heroics from the Nets Harden would have successfully carried his team to a win. He was that good.

Next: January 14, 2019