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Rockets’ James Harden becomes second player in NBA history to score 30 points in 20 straight games

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Reigning NBA MVP James Harden made some NBA history against the 76ers in Philadelphia on Monday night, as he scored 30-plus points for the 20th consecutive game, becoming just the second player ever to do so. Wilt Chamberlain was the first. 

After the game, Harden spoke to media members about the milestone. 

“Wilt was doing some obviously unbelievable things and numbers that nobody will ever catch,” Harden said, via ESPN. “Just to be in the same conversation as those guys is just credit to the work I put in. That’s what you play this game for, to be listed with those guys, those top players… Obviously, I got a long way to go, but this is a pretty cool beginning.”

Harden has been scoring the basketball at a historic rate this season, which he will try to continue on Wednesday when the Rockets face the Knicks (7:30 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass extension), and he leads the league in points per game (35.7). To put Harden’s current scoring streak into perspective, here are some stats, via USA Today

  • Harden is averaging 42.3 points a game during his streak. He’s averaging 40.2 points over his last 23 games. Only Chamberlain (515), Elgin Baylor (33) and Kobe Bryant (23) have ever averaged at least 40 points over as many games. 
  • Harden has raised his season scoring average to 35.7 points a game. In the last 40 years, Michael Jordan is the only player to average more over a season (37.1 in 1986-87).  
  • Over the last 20 games, Harden has attempted 282 free throws (14.1 per game), which would rank 10th in the league. Overall, Harden leads the NBA in free throws attempted (498, 11.6 per game) and made (430, 10 per game). 
  • During his 30-point streak, he’s attempted 308 shots from long range (15.4 per game), a 20-game total that would rank 11th overall this season. For the year, Harden leads the league in 3-pointers attempted (563, 13.1 per game) and made (213, 5.0 per game). 

 Harden’s head coach has been pretty impressed with his star’s scoring streak. 

“I mean, he’s incredible, he really is,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I can’t tell you, I’ve run out of words … my vocabulary’s not that extensive. He’s incredible … I don’t see any end in sight. I know there will be, but I don’t see it happening.” 

Houston’s injury issues have forced him to shoulder an enormous load for the team, especially on the offensive end; something he is prepared to continue doing.  

“I know that, as long as I make sure we can keep our head above water, once those guys get back, my minutes will go down and we will win a lot easier,” Harden said. “But, until then, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.”

If Harden continues to put up points at this breakneck pace and carry the Rockets on his back at the same time, a second consecutive MVP award could be in his future. 



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