After 32 consecutive games scoring 30 or more points in a game for the Houston Rockets, reigning MVP James Harden’s epic scoring streak ended when the Atlanta Hawks held him to only 28 points.
Wilt Chamberlin holds the all-time NBA record with 65 consecutive games scoring 30-plus during the 1961-62 season for the Philadelphia Warriors. Chamberlin’s record might never get broken. The fact that Harden got almost halfway there with 32-straight games is momentous on itself.
“It was cool,” Harden said after the game. “I knew I wasn’t going to get to No. 1.”
The Rockets (35-25) defeated the Atlanta Hawks 119-111. Rookie Trae Young scored a career-high 36 points for the Haws and drilled eight three-pointers. Harden shot 7 of 21 from the field and missed all ten of his three-point attempts. He finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in a winning effort.
“Eventually it was going to have to end one of these days,” said Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni. “He’s unbelievable. He’ll start another one.”
During the 32-game scoring streak, Harden increased his overall scoring average to a league-leading 36.3 points per game. Over his nine-year career, Harden averages 24.0 points per game.
Harden has been dealing with a neck injury. He missed the previous game against the Golden State Warriors and rested up in bed for several days.
The stiff neck is affecting his long-range shooting. During the All-Star Game, Harden hit only 4-for-13 treys for Team LeBron against zero defense.
In his last two games, Harden hit only 2 out of 22 three-point attempts. Throw in a loss to Minnesota before the All-Star Break and Harden is just 10 for 42 from downtown. He’s hitting just 23.8 percent of his treys. This season Harden is shooting 36.7 percent, which is almost exactly his career average of 36.4 percent.
Beard Streak Numbers
With injuries to key players and the Carmelo Anthony bust, Harden increased his scoring output. Chris Paul and Clint Capela were sidelined with injuries this season, but Harden picked up the slack.
Harden extended his streak to 32 games against the Lakers. He barely kept his streak alive with 30 points in a five-point loss against LeBron James and company. That night he only shot 2 for 10 from three-point range, but still gutted out 30 points.
Harden last scored under 30 points back in early December 2018. The Portland Trail Blazers held Harden to 29 points.
JAMES HARDEN SCORING STREAK
Average (Season): 36.3 points
Consecutive 30-Point Games: 32
30-Point Games (Season): 42
40-Point Games (Season): 22
50-Point Games (Season): 5
60-Point Games (Season): 1
This season, Harden torched the New York Knicks for 61 points on their home court at Madison Square Garden. He also dropped 50-points five times this season, including back-to-back games. His 50-plus victims included the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and even a triple-double against the Lakers.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Houston Rockets are 12/1 odds to win the NBA title this season.