The NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard James Harden was named All-NBA First Team. For the third straight season, he was selected to the First Team on all 100 ballots submitted by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Harden is the only player to be named All-NBA First Team in each of the past three seasons.
Harden has been named All-NBA in six of his seven seasons as a Rocket (Third Team in 2012-13; First Team in 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17, and 2017-18). Hakeem Olajuwon (12) is the only other Rocket with more than five All-NBA selections.
This season, Harden averaged 36.1 points (1st in NBA), 7.5 assists (7th in NBA), 6.6 rebounds and 2.03 steals (2nd in NBA). He became the first player in NBA history to have averaged at least 35.0 ppg and 7.0 apg in a single season and joined Michael Jordan (1988-89) as the only players to have averaged at least 30.0 ppg, 7.0 apg, 6.0 rpg, and 2.00 spg.
Over a span of 40 games played from Dec. 8 through March 8, Harden averaged 40.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 7.0 rpg and 2.2 spg. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the second-longest span of averaging 40+ points in NBA history. The Rockets were 28-12 in those games despite Clint Capela missing 14 of those games, Eric Gordon missing nine, and Chris Paul missing 18.
The Rockets were 12-14 through games played on Dec. 12 and had the second-lowest winning percentage (.462) in the Western Conference. Harden scored 50 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 13, marking the first of 32 consecutive games scoring at least 30 points which is the second-longest in league history. From the start of Harden’s streak through the end of the regular season, Houston had the second-best winning percentage (.732) of any team.
Harden led the NBA in scoring by 8.09 points per game, marking the highest differential between the league’s top two qualified scorers since Wilt Chamberlain outscored Elgin Baylor by 10.84 ppg in 1962-63. Harden scored 40+ points 28 times this season, including 50+ nine times, and 60+ twice. The Rockets won 75% of his 40-point games (21-7 mark).
The seven-time All-Star surpassed his career high for 3-pointers made in his 53rd game of the season and finished with 378, marking the second-highest single season total in NBA history. Harden hit a franchise-high tying 10 3-pointers in an overtime win at Golden State on Jan. 3, marking one of 10 games with at least eight this season.
Dating back to 2014-15, Harden is averaging 30.4 points, 8.4 assists, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals with Houston winning 66% of its games, including a league-best 72% over the past two seasons.