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Rockets’ James Harden has highest points per 100 possessions since 1973-74

Rockets, James Harden

Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden has racked up several prestigious accolades over the course of his career, including last season’s MVP award, six All-Star nods and four All-NBA first-team selections. His latest achievement, however, is a true testament to his offensive staying power.

According to Basketball-Reference, Harden (46.8) currently has the highest points per 100 possessions since 1973-74. The next player in line in this category is none other than His Airness, Michael Jordan, who scored 46.4 points per 100 possessions in the 1986-87 campaign:

Harden has been tearing defenses apart this season, and there seems to be no indication that he’ll slow down anytime soon. He’s leading the league in the scoring department by a proverbial mile, but he’s also playing well on the defensive end of the floor (fourth in steals per game).

The Beard has made 40 appearances with the Rockets this season (all starts), racking up averages of 34.8 points on 43.7 percent shooting from the field (37.9 percent from beyond the arc), 8.6 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 37.1 minutes per outing.

On Monday, Harden dropped 57 on the Memphis Grizzlies, leading his team to a 112-94 victory. He also made 15 of his 17 free throws and had nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. It was his 12th 50-point performance, which is one ahead of Allen Iverson and tied with LeBron James:

Harden has now scored at least 40 points 14 times this season, which is a franchise record. He’s racked up 40 or more in eight of his last 11 outings.

“With the kind of games that you’ve been having lately, how do you handle the pressure of carrying the load and just the expectations that you set for yourself?” Harden was asked after Monday’s game.

“It’s no pressure,” Harden calmly replied. “I do this for a living. I have fun with it.”

Harden and the Rockets will look to keep their momentum rolling on Wednesday night, when they’ll welcome the Brooklyn Nets to town. Tip-off inside the Toyota Center is set for 8:00 p.m. ET.