It took merely 3 quarters for James Harden to add his name to the history books once again. Saturday night marked Harden’s 4th 60-point career game. This puts him in the company of Wilt Chamberlin who had 32, Kobe Bryant who had 6, and is now tied with Michael Jordan who also had 4. While a 60 piece performance is nothing new for Harden, what makes this extra special is that he set a record for the least amount of field-goal attempts (16 of 24). Not only that, but he was 8 of 14 from the three-point line. There’s efficiency and then there is efficiency. Again, Harden sat the entire 4th quarter. That matters. Harden joins the company of Klay Thompson and Kobe Bryant as one of only three players to have scored 60 points in 3 quarters of play.
Harden needed two more points to set a new career high record. The stat was displayed on the Jumbotron moments after he was benched and he was comically shocked and disappointed he wasn’t able to grab those extra points. When Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni was asked if he thought about putting Harden back in the game he said it simply wasn’t an option. “I can’t do that, I couldn’t, you guys would kill me if I did that and he got hurt,” D’Antoni explained. “I’d kill myself first of all and then you would all shoot me.”
James Harden is an offensive force to be reckoned with. He is regarded amongst his peers and basketball aficionados as un-guardable. Harden has adapted to maneuver out of the defensive schemes set up to trip him up. Though Harden averaged 47 points, (5 rebounds, 7 assists) this week, the player of the week honor was not bestowed upon him. Bestowed or not, Harden remains an incredible player.