Houston Rockets star James Harden has had a tremendous offensive year — one that has put him back in the MVP conversation.
Naturally, Saturday was no different.
Harden finished with his fifth-career 50-point triple-double on Saturday afternoon, dropping 50 points with 11 rebounds and 10 assists in their 119-108 win against the Sacramento Kings. Harden, who grabbed 17 of his points from the free-throw line, shot 13-of-31 from the field and 7-of-23 from the 3-point line.
“It’s remarkable what he does, and he does it every night,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said, via the Associated Press. “I keep thinking, ‘Gosh, can he do this every game?’ And then he does it for three years.”
The game also marked Harden’s third 50-point performance in the last six games, and his ninth total this season. Harden’s seven 3-pointers also brought him to 2,000 career buckets from behind the arc, making him just the ninth player in NBA history to do so.
“I wasn’t worried about it,” Harden said, via SportsTalk 790. “I just wanted to be aggressive. We know how fast of a pace they play at. Defensively, we had to get stops. They made a run, which we knew was going to happen. Just try to be aggressive, whether it’s making assists, or getting to the basket or shooting my shot.”
The Rockets bounced back-and-forth-with the Kings early, at one point even falling into a 10-point hole in the second quarter before grabbing an 11-point lead of their own early in the third. Yet it was their defense that allowed the Rockets to hold on, limiting the Kings to just 15 points in the fourth quarter to pick up the 11-point win.
Rockets center Clint Capela dropped 24 points and had 15 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 22 points. Eric Gordon scored 17 points in the win, too, which marked Houston’s seventh in its last nine games.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings with 24 points off the bench. Buddy Hield put up 21 points, and Marvin Bagley finished with 20 points.
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