James Harden erupted for 58 points Thursday night, leading the Houston Rockets past the visiting Miami Heat 121-118.
Harden’s sixth 50-point game of the season allowed the Rockets to climb out of a 21-point third quarter deficit.
The Beard credited his team’s defensive effort for the win.
“He’s definitely one of the most unguardable players this game has ever seen,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said after his last game in Houston and his postgame jersey exchange with Chris Paul. “Give him credit for seeing they were struggling early and strapping everybody on his back and going to work.”
The Rockets needed all that Harden could give, all that had made the season so special, so unforgettable, from the step-back 3s to the unstoppable drives. They needed him to drive them back, coupling that with a dramatically increased defensive effort, until they swept past the Heat, taking a 121-118 win with Harden scoring 58 points, the most scored against the Heat.
“Just attack and be aggressive,” Harden said of how he conquered the Heat zone that had confounded the Rockets in Miami. “The zone is just to corral you, lull you to sleep. I couldn’t allow that to happen. I wanted to continue to be aggressive, continue to attack the rim, take my shots when I had the opportunities.”