During a Houston Rockets 122-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, both James Harden and Trae Young each unleashed a 40-point triple-double. Harden has been no stranger to the history books the last couple of seasons, while Young has quickly become one of the most exciting young scorers in the NBA.
This game marked the first time in NBA history where two opposing players each posted a 40-point triple-double. Harden finished with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in the victory that did not include teammate Russell Westbrook, who sat out to rest. Young dropped 42 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss for the third triple-double of his career.
Tale of the Tape
Trae Young (ATL) 42 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists
James Harden (HOU) 41 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists
The Rockets improved to 25-11, while the Hawks fell to 8-30 in the standings as the worst team in the NBA.
Everyone expected fireworks would occur during the Rockets/Hawks match up. The Rockets are the highest scoring team in the NBA averaging 119.4 points, while the Hawks allow the second-most points in the NBA at 117.4 points per game.
MVP Watch (Again) for Harden
Harden leads the NBA in scoring with 38.5 points per game, and it’s no surprise to see the Bearded One notch another triple-double.
Harden dropped 22 points in the first quarter, and was off to the races. Despite the hot start, Harden struggled overall from the floor. He missed 25 total shots and connected on 4-for-20 from 3-point range.
In late November, during a 47-point blowout, Harden dropped 60 points against the Hawks in only three quarters of play.
In the previous game against Philadelphia, Harden posted a 44-point triple double with 11 assists and 11 rebounds.
Third Triple-Double for Trae Young
His career is less than 1.5 seasons old, but Trae Young has already recorded his third triple-double. The occasion also marked his second triple-double of this season. He posted a 30-point triple-double in November against the Toronto Raptors with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
“He’s the man, a stone-cold killer,” said teammate John Collins. “And he’s still a kid. Still growing. He’s going to be even better and stronger. Which is hard to imagine.”
Young averages 29.2 points per game, which is fourth overall in the NBA. He’s also ranked fifth in assists, with 8.5 dimes per game.
Young scored 40-plus for the fifth time this season. He’s scored 39-plus seven times this season.
The range of some of Young’s three-pointers is astounding. While in the heat of battle, Young often doesn’t realize how far beyond the arc he’s standing when he’s raining down daggers.
“I’ll go home and watch the game again, and I don’t realize necessarily how deep I am until I watch it,” said Young. “So after I watch it at home, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s crazy!'”
“If this is the next trend, and he’s a guy capable of doing it, when he’s effective, that’s something special,” said Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce.