James Harden served up a classic performance on Tuesday night as his masterpiece propelled the Houston Rockets to a 114-107 win over the Orlando Magic. The league's best scorer in isolation did more than step up while his backcourt teammates Chris Paul and Eric Gordon were impacted by injuries and forced to watch history from the sidelines. Harden took over the game in a way that no NBA player had ever done.
Let's digest the night to remember with five awesome facts from his performance.
1. He became the first player in NBA history to record a 60-point triple-double
Harden finished the night with a ridiculous stat line of 60 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. The 28-year-old also added a game-high four steals and one block. Most of his success came from inside the arc, where he shot a scorching 14-for-16.
2. He set a franchise-record for most points in a Rockets uniform
Harden broke Calvin Murphy's team-record of 57 points set on March 18, 1978 against the New Jersey Nets. Murphy was in attendance during Tuesday's game and, like the rest of us, was in awe of the show put on by Houston's new record holder.
3. He posted 50-plus points for the ninth time in his career
The 60 points against Orlando was the highest mark of Harden's nine-year career, but it also serves as the ninth time he's topped 50 points and the fourth time he's done it this season.
|Nov. 5, 2017||Utah Jazz, W||56|
|Dec. 20, 2017||Los Angeles Lakers, L||51|
|Dec. 22, 2017||L.A. Clippers, L||51|
|Jan. 30, 2018||Orlando Magic, W||60|
4. He posted the highest-scoring game of the 2017-18 season
Harden's 60 points were the most points scored by a player this season since LeBron James dropped 57 points on Nov. 3 in D.C. Real recognizes real as James acknowledged the unbelievable performance.
C’mon @JHarden13!!! Now that’s insane G! 60 point Triple Dub. Sheesh!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 31, 2018
5. His scoring average increased to 31.6
The NBA's leading scorer upped his per-game average from 30.9 to 31.6 following Tuesday's win. Last season's Kia MVP Russell Westbrook averaged exactly 31.6 points during his run for the award. Is Harden the frontrunner for this year's hardware? The numbers -- and tape -- don't lie.