Harden drops 58 to guide Rockets past Heat

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It has reached a point where the Rockets seem almost desensitized to James Harden producing historic statistics.

As far as they were concerned, Harden’s 58 points and 10 assists were practically a footnote in the Rockets’ 121-118 comeback win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.

“He had a terrific game,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I could use the exact same words I told you last time about him. He’s just doing it again.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

It was the sixth 50-point performance of the season for Harden, the lone NBA player to hit the milestone more than once in 2018-19, and the 15th of his career. Only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Elgin Baylor have scored 50 points more times in NBA history.8

It was also the seventh time that Harden dished out at least 10 assists in a 50-point performance, a feat no other player has accomplished more than three times.

Harden fell only three points shy of matching his career high and the franchise-record 61 he scored in a Jan. 23 win over the New York Knicks.

“I wasn’t really paying attention to that,” Harden said. “I was worried about getting stops, trying to play my butt off and create some energy in the building.” china nike

Harden pointed to the Rockets’ defensive turnaround in the second half as the primary reason they were able to rally from a 21-point deficit. Houston held Miami to 20 points in the fourth quarter, when Harden generated 22 points, scoring 17 and feeding Austin Rivers for a 3-pointer and Clint Capela for a layup.

D’Antoni declared it a “gut check” victory for the short-handed Rockets, who were without injured rotation players Eric Gordon, Kenneth Faried and Iman Shumpert while power forward PJ Tucker was ejected after picking up two technical fouls while arguing an illegal screen call against him late in the third quarter.

“This is a character win,” D’Antoni said. “When you get in the playoffs, that’s what counts — character and brains. And we had both of them tonight.”