Rockets’ James Harden Drops 60 Points In Big 158-111 Win Over Hawks
The Houston Rockets jump to 13-6 with an impressive 158-111 win over the Atlanta Hawks (4-16). The Rockets had quite the solid team performance, but the stand out story is James Harden, who put up 60 points in just three quarters. Coach Mike D’Antoni said, “It’s like everything else he does-unbelievable.”
Harden was one point shy of matching his career high and franchise record. This was his fourth career 60-point game, putting him in third place, tied with Michael Jordan, for the most in NBA history. He trails only to Kobe Bryant (6) and Wilt Chamberlain (32).
He is the only active player to have scored 60 points more than once and the third player in 25 seasons to have 60 points in three quarters next to Klay Thompson (2016) and Bryant (2005). This is the 20th 50-point game in Harden’s career putting him fourth-most in NBA history.
The Rockets were down two starters, Clint Capela and Danuel House, due to illness, but kept the Hawks at bay and from never really gaining control in the game. Trae Young put up 37 points and made five rebounds, having tied career high 49 points and eight 3-pointers the previous night against the Pacers. Young’s performance was not enough to offset Harden’s eight 3-pointers and 20 free throws.
Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter put up 14 points with five rebounds and one assist, but the Rockets had weapons in players like Ben McLemore who scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds and an assist.
D’Antoni kept Harden out of the game in fourth quarter despite disappointment from fans who hoped to see Harden make Rockets history. In response, D’Antoni said, “But we played a really good game those first three quarters so it was an opportunity for other guys to play minutes that they’ve earned.”
The Hawks will host Golden State (4-16) on December 2, while the Rockets take on the Spurs (7-13) in San Antonio on December 3.