James Harden, despite being “dog tired,” torched the Memphis Grizzlies to the tune of a season-high 57 points Monday night.
Harden shook off a rough shooting performance in Orlando the previous night—in which he missed as many 3s as anyone had in a game—to lead the Houston Rockets to a 112-94 win.
Harden pours in a season-high 57, drives Rockets past Grizzlies https://t.co/pV4wknMYU2
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 15, 2019
The reigning MVP moved past Kobe Bryant in the record books by reaching the 30-point mark for the 17th consecutive game.
Per the Houston Chronicle:
“I don’t know if it was an emotional lift; I know we had to win a game,” Harden said. “We let one slip away. It was another opportunity for us. I know it’s crunch time in the sense we have three starters out. Guys have to pick up the slack. That’s no excuse.”
Still, Harden’s third 50-point game of the season and the 12th of his career was well-timed. It also gave [Mike] D’Antoni his 600th coaching victory, making it memorable even if he stole the spotlight.
“I knew he was dog tired,” D’Antoni said. “He was trying to orchestrate early, save his legs a little bit. The guys that were guarding him are really good players. The (Jevon) Carter kid is really good. Garrett (Temple) is really good. When they switch off, they have long defenders. What he just did, we take for granted a little bit. Another day, he scores 57. On dead legs and playing the minutes he’s been playing? He played 43 minutes last night. That’s rare, rare people who can do what he does.”