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Rockets star James Harden says his, Russell Westbrook’s big nights are taken for granted

James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Rockets

James Harden poured in a scorching 59 points in the Houston Rockets’ most recent win over the Washington Wizards, yet not many besides teammate Russell Westbrook batted an eye about his performance after surviving only by a mere point against a team expected to be in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.

The Beard hit 17 straight free throws in a high-octane performance, missing his last and only of the game with the game on the line in hopes to run out the clock. The extra point would have given Harden 60 points, but even he is aware that wouldn’t have impressed his critics:

“I think it is only with me and Russ,” Harden said after the game, noting his big-time performances are often taken for granted, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Like if Russ gets a triple-double, it’s (considered) normal. If I get 55 or 60 points, it’s (considered) normal. If somebody else was to do that, to have a career night, it’s like ‘Oh my God.’ But I don’t care. I just try to go out there and try to win games. “If that’s what it takes for us to win game, him getting a triple-double and me getting 50, 60 points, then we’ll continue to do that.”

Harden did have plenty of 50-plus-point performances last season when he averaged a career-high 36.1 points per game. Much like The Beard’s high-tilt scoring prowess, Westbrook’s triple-double antics have also become customary stat lines for those watching him play.

Westbrook explains just how hard it is to put up those kinds of numbers:

“It’s very tough. It’s not easy,” said Westbrook, who scored a career-high 58 points against the Trail Blazers in the 2017-18 season. “He made it look easy from the outside looking it, but it’s not. I can tell you that firsthand. “I know a lot of times people see these stats and see numbers, and they’re like, ‘Oh, OK. That’s easy.’ It takes energy. It takes precision. It takes work. It takes obviously talent. To do that throughout a whole game and stay focused is … something you can’t teach.”

Harden had been struggling before erupting for those 59 points, a sign he’s still able to put on a show when his team needs him to carry it to the end of the game.