The Bearded One lit up his former team to the tune of 46 points, and led the suddenly short-handed Houston Rockets to a 122-119 victory. James Harden hit 7 three-pointers, grabbed 8 rebounds, handed out 6 assists and seemingly did whatever he wanted against the OKC Thunder defense. Per the Houston Chronicle: “With every reason to lose, James Harden gathered his teammates and pledged to do whatever was necessary to win. Rarely has more been required. Perhaps never have he and this season’s Rockets more completely delivered. The Rockets were more than short-handed. They had been stunned when the trades of Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Marcus Morris and Toney Douglas emptied the locker room just minutes before those left behind were to make their run to the court. [...] Harden said that was his message before the game and again in the fourth quarter when the Thunder were close to finishing off the Rockets as expected all along. ‘A lot of distractions before the game, but I just rallied the guys together and told them to focus in on every play,’ Harden said. ‘It’s going to be a tough game for us. I just told the guys on the court, we have to do whatever it takes.’ It took Harden scoring a career-high 46 points as he made seven of eight 3-pointers, including a halfcourt buzzer-beater to end the third quarter and serve as a sign of what would come next. In the final seven minutes, Harden finished off his former team with 12 points. ‘If he is not up for MVP consideration, I mean, I don’t know what else he needs to do,’ Jeremy Lin said. ‘Forty-six points on 19 shots. I mean, he made every single big play down the stretch, and even the shots that I was able to have, they were created because of him. Man, he played phenomenal.’”