Earlier in the week, James Harden saw his ridiculous streak of 30-point games snapped in a win over the Atlanta Hawks and, in his team’s next contest, the MVP candidate struggled (by his standards) to just 30 points on 29 shots against the Charlotte Hornets. That back-to-back stretch may have constituted a “slump” with the way Harden has operated this season but, on Thursday evening, he exploded to lead the Rockets to a 121-118 comeback win over the Miami Heat.
Harden himself was fantastic in the first half for Houston, scoring 24 points and dishing out five assists to key his team’s offense.
With that said, the Rockets entered halftime in a 14-point hole at home against an inferior opponent, leaving the door open for a disappointing defeat. From there, however, Harden took things to yet another level, and he did so from the opening moments of the third quarter.
Harden scored 17 points in the third period while serving as the engine of Houston’s offense but, with issues on the other end, the Rockets still encountered a 12-point deficit with only 12 minutes remaining. Fortunately for fans of both team and player, Harden wasn’t done there and he saved some his best work for the end.
In meticulous and ludicrously effective fashion, Harden scored 17 points in the closing period and he engineered a significant comeback to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. When all was said and done, Harden scored 58 points to go along with 10 assists and seven rebounds, and the MVP co-favorite did so with great efficiency. The left-hander made 16 of his 32 field goal attempts and eight of his 18 three-point attempts but, in an on-brand way, Harden also made all 18 of his free throws to complete this memorable performance.