Houston Rockets superstar James Harden almost accomplished a rare gem of a feat in their 125-98 romping of the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
The Beard came close to notching his first career five-by-five game, but was one block shy of getting it. Still, he ended his night with an astonishing line of 43 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, six steals, and four blocks. He shot 12-of-22 from the field, 15-of-15 from the line, and made four 3-pointers on the night.
James Harden tonight:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 3, 2019
Harden’s huge night was the third time he notched a 40-point, 10-rebound, five-steal stat line, which tied Michael Jordan and Anthony Davis. This performance also marked the reigning MVP’s 26th consecutive game of scoring 30 or more points.
Over this incandescent 26-game surge, the NBA’s leading scorer is averaging an absurd 42.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 2.3 steals, all while notching 44-37-89 shooting splits.
Harden is having a season of historic proportions in his 10th year in the league. His 36.3 points per game is the highest since Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 in 1986-87. It isn’t far-fetched to think that if Harden continues on his scorching hot streak and keeps this pace until April, he might just average 40 on the season.
His usage rate so far is at a sky-high 40.22 so far, which ranks second all-time behind Russell Westbrook’s own historic 2016-17 MVP season.
To say that he is doing everything for the Rockets this season is an understatement. Many believed that he would slow down when backcourt mate Chris Paul made his return from a hamstring injury. But slowing down doesn’t seem to be in Harden’s vocabulary this season, as he continues to go on a tear night in and night out.
However, one might think that this could eventually wear down the reigning MVP. The Rockets might want to ease up their superstar guard’s load a bit if they want to have a fresh Harden leading them in the postseason.