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Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says Rockets’ James Harden ‘is playing a different game than the rest of us are playing’

James Harden, Rick Carlisle, Mavs, Rockets

The Houston Rockets host the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, and Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle had some high praise for superstar James Harden when he spoke to reporters pregame.

Rick Carlisle, one of the best coaches in the game, says James Harden “is playing a different game than the rest of us are playing” and amazing to watch on a nightly basis.

Harden is having one of the best scoring seasons in NBA history. The reigning MVP is averaging a league-leading 36.6 points per game and has scored at least 30 points in 29 straight games entering Monday. The Beard is also averaging 6.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists while shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from beyond the arc and 86.9 percent from the free-throw line.

During this 29-game stretch, Harden is averaging a whopping 41.8 points. The now eight-time All-Star is second in the NBA in player efficiency rating (31.0), trailing only New Orleans Pelicans star big man Anthony Davis (31.1).

Houston enters Monday with a record of 32-23, good for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. At one point this season, the Rockets were way back in the playoff standings and on pace to have a below .500 record. That’s when Harden took matters into his own hands and put the franchise on his broad shoulders.