James Harden Has Historically Bad Night But Matches 2006 Kobe’s 16-Game Streak Of 30-Point Games [VIDEO]
James Harden had a night for the history books. While most focused on his 30-point game streak, the Houston Rockets star tied another record. During Sunday night’s 116-109 loss to the Orlando Magic, the reigning MVP matched Kobe Bryant‘s 2006 16-game streak of 30-point games, the most since the 1963-1964 season.
Harden scored 38 points, bringing his season average up to 34.2 points. The guard is expected to surpass Bryant on Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
His other record of the night wasn’t as great. In the first game of a back-to-back, Harden went 1-for-17 from the 3-point line. That was historically bad, tying Damon Stoudamire‘s almost 14-year-old record for most missed three-pointers in a game. Until Sunday, Stoudemire’s 5-for-21 outing against the Golden State Warriors was the only time anyone had missed 16 three-pointers in a game.
“They just didn’t go in,” Harden shrugged afterward.
Despite Harden’s struggles, Houston coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t blame the loss on the MVP frontrunner. While some might have accused the guard of stat-padding, D’Antoni rejected any criticism. “The problem is, you can’t rely on him being superhuman every night,” he said. “We’ve got to have some contributions from other guys. I just thought they came in with a lack of focus, particularly on the defensive end.”
Houston is currently 28th in pacing, which makes Harden’s 34.2 points per game an even more impressive feat. In the past 40 seasons, only Michael Jordan and Bryant have finished with a higher season average than what Harden is now averaging.
Some point to Harden’s streak as the next evolution of basketball, where stars navigate through screens and launch threes at a phenomenal rate. In signature style, the Houston star went 15-for-16 from the foul line on Sunday. He also contributed 12 assists and nine rebounds. Each night, Harden seems to back up Daryl Morey‘s claim that the guard could be “the best offensive player of all time.”