Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni calls James Harden’s 61-point game ‘one of the best performances’
Afterward, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni lauded Harden’s performance, calling it one of the best he has ever seen:
“I don’t know how you get any better,” D’Antoni said, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. “Whoever was in the gym tonight probably [saw] something they have never seen before. There’s no way. That was one of the best performances — the magnitude of the game, we needed it — just everything. I don’t know how many points he got in the last four minutes, but we were down. The guy was playing.”
What made Harden’s latest outburst so unreal was that it was incredibly efficient.
The reigning MVP made 19 of his 34 field-goal attempts and went 9-of-13 from three-point range. In addition, he went 14-of-17 from the free-throw line.
It also represented Harden’s eighth 50-point performance of the season and his second consecutive such effort, as he also poured in 57 points during Houston’s overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday evening.
On the season, Harden is averaging 36.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.2 steals over 37.3 minutes per game while shooting 43.8 percent from the floor, 36.3 percent from beyond the arc and 87.8 percent from the charity stripe.
Not only is Harden making a great case to win his second straight MVP award, but he has all but assured himself of back-to-back scoring titles.
Last season, the 29-year-old paced the league with 30.4 points per game, which pales in comparison to his output this year.