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James Harden says this is ‘the year’ for Houston

Superstar guard James Harden and the Houston Rockets are simply not messing around right now. They’ve won 13 games in a row and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, either. The favorite for the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player award knows what the Rockets are capable of doing this season.

In an exclusive interview with longtime ESPN reporter Shelley Smith, Harden opened up about Houston’s title-or-bust mentality, the team’s personnel and their upcoming matchup with the L.A. Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

“This is the year. For sure,” Harden said on Tuesday during an exclusive interview with ESPN.

Harden, who leads the league in scoring this season with a whopping 31.4 points per game, is extremely happy with the talent he has been surrounded by in Houston.

“The front office — [general manager] Daryl Morey and [CEO] Tad Brown — those guys did an unbelievable job. From last year, bringing [Eric Gordon] and [Ryan Anderson] over. Then obviously adding [Chris Paul] and [PJ Tucker] and [Luc Mbah a Moute] and then you get [Gerald Green] and Joe Johnson,” Harden said. “This is probably the best team I’ve ever been a part of, from top to bottom. The chemistry that we have, included with the coaching staff — I mean, we’re having a lot of fun.”

As for the Rockets’ upcoming matchup with the Clippers, this will be the first meeting between the two teams since their drama-filled night in mid-January.

“I was there, and I didn’t like it at all. But I’m happy to be on the court tomorrow and help my teammates,” Harden said, who was inactive that game. “[I expect] a competitive game. We’ve been playing extremely well. They’ve been playing well. They’re fighting for a playoff seed as well. We’re fighting for the No. 1 seed. So it’s going to be a playoff atmosphere in there. You can expect every game from here on out to be a playoff atmosphere. That’s what we need. Nothing changes for us. We need to go out there and execute and just try to keep our streak alive.”

Get your popcorn ready because things will likely get very interesting as the Rockets close out the month of February by going for their 14th consecutive victory.