Ringing in the New Year
Houston Rockets guard James Harden was named today by the NBA as Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Dec. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 6. It is his second such honor this season after winning West Player of the Week earlier this season for games played Oct. 30-Nov. 4. He becomes the first Houston player to receive multiple Player of the Week accolades in one season since Tracy McGrady back in 2007-08 (twice).
Harden (6-5, 220, Arizona State) led the Rockets to the NBA’s lone perfect record of the week at 4-0. He averaged 29.3 points (second in the conference), 3.25 steals (second in the conference) and 5.5 assists as Houston collected home victories over the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Hornets, as well as road victories over the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Harden also extended his streak of scoring 25 or more points to 12 consecutive games, which ties for the season longest such streak in Rockets history. In his last outing at Cleveland (1/5/13), Harden netted 16 (4-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-7 FT) of his 29 points (14-15 FT) in the fourth quarter to lead Houston to a 112-104 victory. He also registered a career-best seven steals, including three in the fourth quarter.
NEW YORK’S ANTHONY AND HOUSTON’S HARDEN
NAMED NBA EASTERN AND WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2013 – The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 6.
Anthony, who topped the league in scoring at 36.0 ppg, led New York to a 2-1 week, including a home victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He bookended the week with a pair of 40-point performances against the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 1 and the Orlando Magic on Dec. 5. His 45 points against the Blazers tied this season’s single-game high (accomplished three times, twice by Anthony and once by Harden).
Harden led the Rockets to the NBA’s lone perfect record on the week at 4-0. He averaged 29.3 points (second in the conference), 3.25 steals (second in the conference) and 5.5 assists as Houston collected home victories over the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Hornets, and road victories over the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Harden extended his streak of scoring 25 or more points to 12 games.
Here is a recap of the week for Anthony and Harden:
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Jan. 1 vs. Portland: Tallied 45 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a 105-100 loss to the Trail Blazers.
Jan. 3 vs. San Antonio: Posted 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists during a 100-83 victory over the Spurs.
Jan. 5 at Orlando: Scored 40 points and added six rebounds and six assists as the Knicks topped the Magic 114-106.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Jan. 2 vs. New Orleans: Scored 31 points and handed out seven assists during a 104-92 win over the Hornets.
Jan. 4 @ Milwaukee: Collected 29 points, seven assists and four steals during a 115-101 win over the Bucks.
Jan. 5 @ Cleveland: Tallied 29 points and seven steals in a 112-104 win over the Cavaliers.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, Charlotte’s Ben Gordon, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Miami’s LeBron James, New York’s J.R. Smith, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins.