Harden and Howard Selected to West All-Star Team
HOUSTON – Houston Rockets guard James Harden and center Dwight Howard were two of 14 players selected by NBA head coaches as reserves for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, which was announced tonight by the league. This marks Harden’s second consecutive All-Star selection, making his first All-Star appearance last year in Houston. This stands as the eighth time in Howard’s career to be named an All-Star. Overall, Howard becomes the 16th player in team history to represent the Rockets at an All-Star Game.
The 63rd NBA All-Star Game will be exclusively televised on TNT from New Orleans Arena on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. The All-Star Game, also broadcast live on ESPN Radio, will collectively reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Harden (6-5, 220, Arizona State) is averaging 23.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.9 boards and 1.33 steals in 40 starts for Houston this season. He stands seventh in the NBA in scoring (23.7), second in minutes played (38.6) and second in free throws made (295). He set a season best with 38 points vs. Sacramento (12/31/13) and went for 37 points vs. New York (1/3/14). He then matched his season-high 38 points vs. the L.A. Lakers (1/8/14) to become the first Rockets player to score at least 37 points in three consecutive games since Hakeem Olajuwon back in 1994-95 (three games: 42 on 12/29/94, 37 on 12/30/94 and 41 on 1/3/95). He also made NBA history vs. Memphis (12/26/13), becoming the first player ever to register 27 points on two or fewer field goals made (2-9 FG). Harden finished a career-best 22-of-25 from the stripe, tying the Rockets single-game record for free throws made set by Sleepy Floyd (22-27 FT on 2/3/91 vs. Golden State). In addition, Harden recorded 35 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots vs. the L.A. Lakers (11/7/13). He is the first Rockets player to reach those totals in a game since Olajuwon in 1992-93.
Howard (6-11, 265, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy) has averaged 18.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.73 blocks in 48 starts for the Rockets this season. He currently ranks fourth in the NBA in rebounding average (12.5), fifth in field goal percentage (.571, 313-548 FG) and ninth in blocks per game (1.73). Howard, who owns 15 20-point, 10-rebound games in 2013-14, has posted 31 double-doubles on the season to stand third in the league in that category. A three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Howard has helped the Rockets climb to third in the NBA in blocks per game (5.83) and fifth in field goal defense (.437). He became the first Rockets player since Ralph Sampson in 1985-86 to pull down 18 or more rebounds in three consecutive games. Howard, who is the first Rockets player to record a 20-20 game since 2009-10, has also collected four 30-point, 10-rebound performances with Houston this season. Closing in on 10,000 career rebounds (9,610), Howard has posted four 20-rebound games on the season. In addition, Howard became the first Rockets player to ever attempt at least 24 free throws in two or more games within a single season.