James Harden Didn’t Attempt A Free Throw In A Home Game For The First Time Since The 2012 Finals

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No NBA player is better at getting to the free throw line than James Harden.

His ability to create contact on drives and three-point shots frustrates opponents to no end, and has at times caused opponents to protest by guarding him with their arms behind their back. Harden goes to the free throw line, on average, more than 11 times per game and has made that one of the key aspects of his game.

However, on Sunday night against the Timberwolves, Harden proved he doesn’t have to get to the foul line to be effective (or for the Rockets to win). The reigning MVP had 20 points and 10 assists in the 117-102 win over Minnesota in Houston, but he did so without a single free throw attempt.

If that sounds rare, it’s because it is. As Law Murray noted on Twitter, it’s the first time Harden hasn’t gone to the free throw line in a home game since Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, when he was in Oklahoma City.

It’s the first time in any game since Game 1 of the Rockets 2016 playoff series against the Warriors he hasn’t gotten any visits to the charity stripe, and the first time in the regular season since Jan. 2, 2015 in New Orleans. That’s an incredible streak to end and, one would expect, a new one will begin next time out and it’ll be another few years before we see another game without free throw attempts from The Beard.