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James Harden is 5th player in 30 years to have 44 points, 8 assists in a playoff win

James Harden

If there was any doubt that Houston Rockets superstar guard James Harden is going to be the 2017-18 NBA Most Valuable Player award winner, just take a look at his highlights from Sunday night’s 104-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Harden also became just the fifth player in the last 30 years to accomplish a very impressive feat, according to a tweet from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

“Players with 44 points, 8 assists in a playoff win in the past 30 years: James Harden, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan,” Feigen wrote, per Basketball-Reference.

Despite only three players being able to score in double figures for Houston, Harden paved the way to victory for head coach Mike D’Antoni’s top-seeded Rockets as they were able to hold off the Timberwolves.

“We were struggling to make shots, struggling to really have any kind of rhythm and James put us on his back,” coach D’Antoni said after last night’s win, per an article written by Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press. “He’s been doing it for a while now.”

It may not have been, by far, the Rockets’ prettiest win of the season, but as Houston has done time and time again during the 2017-18 campaign, they were able to get the job done.

Harden’s final stat line for Sunday night’s victory was quite impressive: a game-high 44 points on 15-of-26 shots from the field, eight assists, four rebounds, and two steals in 41 minutes of action.