Houston Rockets moment #3: The Unguardable Tour
More than any individual game ever could, Harden’s absurd streak of games scoring 30 or more points in the 2018-19 season embodies his place in NBA history as one of its foremost supreme scorers. His supernal streak of 30-point games ended at 32 games straight, second only to the otherworldly stat-machine that was NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain.
This scoring feat did not come emptily, as the Rockets went 21-11 in the 32-game stretch. Harden also did this with several key players at the time being in and out of the lineup, with 26 of the 32 games seeing the Rockets missing one or more of Chris Paul, Clint Capela, and/or Eric Gordon.
These injuries to key players were constant throughout the totality of the 2018-19 season, and produced the most overlooked argument from Rockets fans as to why Harden deserved his second MVP award that season. It was not just the Unguardable Tour, his point average of 36.1, or the team’s place as fourth in the West, but that Harden accomplished all of this with a considerable portion of the season seeing injuries to his best teammates.
On the statistical side of things, this streak saw Harden achieving his career-high 61-point game, three different games with 50 or more points, 14 games with 40 or more, and averaging 41.1 points across a timespan extending beyond two months. As if that was not enough, he also shot the ball pretty efficiently during this time and averaged over seven rebounds and seven assists as well.
So not only is this stretch of games the accomplishment that most represents Harden’s scoring prowess, but arguably best demonstrates his ability to will his team towards winning seasons as well. Basketball fans beyond even the city of Houston will be talking about this feat from The Beard for many years to come.
Next: No. 2