Harden also recorded the
third 60-point triple-double in NBA history, doing something only the legendary Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain have done. He added 11 assists and grabbed 10 boards in order to clinch the feat.
Ed. note: Upon further review, it turns out, this was the first-ever 60-point triple-double in NBA history. So, that’s cool.
Harden needed to play 46 of 48 minutes tonight in order to complete his achievements, but it was expected after Trevor Ariza and Chris Paul did not dress for the game and Eric Gordon left early in the first half with back stiffness. Heading into halftime, the Rockets were trailing by a point, but Harden had 24. I made a small prediction in the game thread, which basically means I can predict the future. I should charge people and drop out of school to pursue a career as a fortune teller.
Harden’s career night broke a 40-year-old record. Calvin Murphy held the previous franchise high of 57 points for four decades. He looked on and delivered a standing ovation as he passed the torch to the new record holder.
The Beard owned the record after hitting a three as he was fouled by Evan Fournier to extend the lead from two to five points, the Rockets’ largest lead of the evening. He sunk the free throw to complete the four-point play and to hit the sixty-burger.
The offense was flowing tonight for both teams as Orlando and Houston both shot 50.6 percent from the floor. The Magic outshot the Rockets from beyond the three-point line, sinking 15 of their 31 threes as opposed to 13 of 35 from the Rockets.
It seemed like Harden did all the work tonight for Houston, but he did have some help from his depleted supporting cast. Ryan Anderson and Gerald Green both scored in double figures and Clint Capela had a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.
Orlando was led by Mario Hezonja and Marreese Speights, who each had a team-high 17 points and were two of six players in double figures.
The two teams never veered far off course and the game remained close until the closing seconds. Luckily for the Rockets, the team got the job done and Harden did so in historic fashion.
Let’s see what he brings in his encore performance as the Rockets face the Spurs on the road Thursday night. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. CT on TNT.