James Harden adds new wrinkle to 30-point streak for vanguard sports , in 57-point outburst in win over Grizzlies .
James Harden’s remarkable offensive outburst got a new layer on Monday in another massive showing for the Houston Rockets.
He extended his streak of 30-point games to 17. And he did it by halftime.
Harden drops 36 points in first half
Harden scored 36 of his 57 points in the first half of the Rockets’ 112-94 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. He also added nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
It marks the 11th 50-point game for an NBA player this season. Harden now has three of them.
It was also the 600th career coaching win for Mike D’Antoni, making him the 25th coach in league history to achieve that feat.
Harden’s usage increases as injuries strike Rockets
Entering the game, Harden was averaging 34.2 points per game and has seen his offensive role somehow increase as attrition has struck the Rockets.
Point guard Chris Paul remains sidelined with a groin strain suffered on Dec. 20. Guard Eric Gordon missed his seventh straight game on Monday with a knee bruise.
And the Rockets learned on Monday that starting center Clint Capela will miss four to six weeks with a right thumb injury.
It all means an increased usage rate for one of the game’s most ball-dominant players who’s in the midst of one of the most prolific offensive streaks in the history of the league.
As Harden scores, Rockets win
During his 17-game streak of scoring 30 or more points, he’s averaging 41.3 points per game. The Rockets are 13-4 during that stretch and have climbed from a rough start to the season to 25-18, good for fifth place in the Western Conference.
The Rockets obviously can’t keep up that kind of win rate over a longer stretch if their key players continue to miss time.
But their performance during his run is evidence that Harden isn’t just filling up the stat sheet. He’s winning games.