Rockets James Harden Named Western Conference Player of the Month
The NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard James Harden was named Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in October and November. It marks the fifth time Harden has received the honor, all coming as a Rocket. Only Hakeem Olajuwon (six times) has more Player of the Month awards in franchise history.
The Rockets enter December with a 17-4 mark, which is the third-best record through the first 21 games of a season in franchise history. Harden leads the NBA in scoring (31.5 ppg), assists (9.8 apg), 3-pointers made (94), and has made more free throws (168) than any other player has attempted (167).
Harden has scored at least 20 points in all 21 games this season. Dating back to 1963-64, it is the ninth time a player has scored at least 20 points in each of the first 21 games of a season and he is just the third player to do so back to 1990-91. Harden has also recorded at least 7 assists in every game this season. He had 20-plus points and 7-plus assists in each of the first 10 games of 2016-17. Dating back to 1983-84, no other player had a streak of 20-plus points and 7-plus assists which lasted longer than the first seven games.
The Rockets posted a 12-1 mark in November with Harden averaging 34.9 points and 10.1 assists. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he fell one point shy of joining Oscar Robertson and Nate “Tiny” Archibald as the only player to have averaged at least 35.0 points and 10.0 assists in a single month with a minimum of 10 games played.
Harden hit at least two 3-pointers in each of the first 17 games of the season, which tied for the second-longest streak to start a season in NBA history. He also set a league record by hitting at least six 3-pointers in five straight games at the start of November. Harden is on pace to finish with the second-most 3-pointers made in a single season in NBA history.
Last season, Harden was the only unanimous First Team All-NBA selection and finished second in voting for the Most Valuable Player award for the second time in three years. He averaged career-highs in scoring, rebounding and assists in 2016-17, while joining Oscar Robertson as the only players to have averaged at least 29.0 ppg, 11.0 apg and 8.0 rpg in a single season. Harden also became the first player in league history to record at least 2,000 points, 900 assists, and 600 rebounds in a single season.
Since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, Harden has scored 1,030 more points than any other player and has made 528 more free throws than any other player has attempted. Over that span, he also ranks third in 3-pointers made, fourth in assists, and fourth in steals.