Another game, another virtuosic scoring performance from James Harden.
The Houston Rockets superstar continued staking his claim for a second consecutive MVP on Friday, leading his team to a 111-107 victory over the San Antonio Spurs while tying his season high 61 points in the process.
What made Harden's performance even impressive, however, is the fact that he managed to be so efficient while achieving that ridiculous level of productivity. He went for 19-of-34 from the field, 9-of-13 from beyond the arc and 14-of-17 at the free throw line.
According to Basketball Reference, Harden's outing marks the fifth time in NBA history a player has scored at least 61 points while taking no more than 34 shots. LeBron James was the last to pull off that feat in 2014; Kobe Bryant did it twice, and Karl Malone once back in 1990.
Arbitrary single-game statistical thresholds, though, weren't the only manner in which Harden made history on Thursday. With nine threes, he pushed his career total to 1,979 and moved into 10th place all-time in 3-pointers made. He passed the recently retired Joe Johnson, who signed with the Rockets midway through last season.
— NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2019
James Harden won't ever be the league's all-time leader in triples even if he eventually passes Ray Allen, which he could do in four years if he maintains his established pace since being traded to Houston. Stephen Curry moved into third place on the list last month and it's only a matter of time before he passes Reggie Miller and Allen.
The win moves the Rockets to 46-27, one game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for third in the Western Conference.