Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been on an offensive tear this season, especially over the past month. His teammates have grown so accustomed to seeing him drop insane scoring lines that it has even gotten to the point that Gerald Green thinks it’s weird not to see last season’s MVP score 45 or 50, per Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun.
Gerald Green on James Harden's 35 point night being a ho hum evening for him considering what he's been doing: "I wish I could have a quiet 35," Green said. "It's kind of weird to not see him score 45 and 50."
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) January 26, 2019
Harden’s scorching run slowed down a bit tonight. In his previous five games, the reigning MVP has averaged an absurd 52.2 points on 47 percent shooting. After putting on a show and dropping a career-high 61 points against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden, he scored just 35 points in their showdown against one of the top teams in the East, the Toronto Raptors.
Harden struggled with his shot tonight, going just 9-of-25 from the field, and 2-of-13 from deep. Still, as usual, the NBA’s leading scorer found his way to the charity stripe, converting all his 15 free-throws on the night. Nonetheless, this was enough to help the Rockets sneak past the Raptors, 121-119.
The Rockets starters provided Harden with some reinforcements, as they all scored in double-figures, with Eric Gordon top-scoring (aside from Harden, of course) with 24 points on 8-of-22 shooting. Newly-acquired big man Kenneth Faried, who is playing just his third game with Houston, notched 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and added 14 rebounds to his name.
Nonetheless, despite the “off-game” from Harden, most of his teammates, including us fans, will continue to expect him to continue on his torrid scoring pace this season as he puts together one the most historic scoring seasons of all time.