Houston Rockets: 15 greatest playoff moments of all-time
8. James Harden goes for his second career triple-double in 2017 NBA Playoffs
May 9, 2017. That was the date of James Harden’s last triple-double in the playoffs. Though he isn’t a point guard, the guard duties for Harden come with an added focus on distributing and rebounding the basketball.
In Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs, Harden found himself filling up the stat sheet to push his squad to a victory. He recorded just one triple-double previously in the 2015 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the second triple-double performance of his playoff career, he racked up 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, although the Rockets lost 110-107 to a veteran San Antonio squad. With limited star power, he still managed to push the envelope, an ode to his development on the basketball court.
Trading for Chris Paul with the Los Angeles Clippers and Clint Capela’s improvement as a player since then has certainly added some greater dimensions to the Rockets. But before their arrival as a trio, things were a lot more difficult for Harden.
He averaged 27.2 points, 7.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 38.3 percent from behind the arc in the postseason that year. He scored less than 20 points in just two of his 17 appearances in the playoffs, showing his ability as a scoring guard and then some.
Harden has a lot of regular season accolades. Some of it has yet to translate into the postseason, but stay tuned. He’s putting up historic numbers this season, as he looks to push Houston to the NBA Finals.