Houston Rockets moment #6. The 53-16-17 game
During a season in which Russell Westbrook had been crowned the triple-double king and was subsequently competing with James Harden for an MVP award, Harden put up one of the most insane triple-doubles ever achieved on the hardwood. It remains to this day the only triple-double of its kind, as no other player has had a 50-15-15 night.
In the 2016-17 season, Harden decided to give the New York Knicks a New Year’s Eve present to remember on the 31st of December. In what some fans call his most impressive statistical performance, The Beard dropped 53 points, grabbed 16 boards, and dished a career-high 17 dimes to lead the Rockets in a 129-122 win over the Knicks.
He put up this monster of a stat-line on 53.8 percent shooting from the field, 56.3 percent shooting from 3, and 88.9 percent shooting from the free-throw line. That is all without mentioning that this was on the second night of a back-to-back where Harden had just put out another efficient 30-point triple-double.
These kinds of games are difficult to even fathom, and this one remains possibly the most balanced of Harden’s games with this insane a statistical output. It is the game most representative of the fact that Harden is not just an elite scorer, but can do just about anything on the court at a superstar level on any given night.
Next: No. 5