James Harden turned in one of the most efficient performances in NBA history on Sunday, scoring 56 points on 25 shots as the Rockets rolled past the Jazz 137-110.
The 56 points were a career high for Harden, one point shy of Calvin Murphy’s franchise record of 57 — which has stood for 39 years.
Harden received a standing ovation from the Toyota Center crowd, which rained down “MVP! MVP!” chants during the game. His night was over with 7:32 left in the game as the Rockets’ lead swelled to 27 points.
Harden said he was unaware he was 8 for 8 in the first quarter and made his first 10 shots to start the game.
“I mean, I was just shooting, I don’t really know,” Harden said. “I don’t pay too much attention to it.”
Harden finished 19 of 25 from the field after missing his last three attempts. He was a perfect 7 for 7 from beyond the arc until he missed a step-back 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter as the shot clock was about to expire.
Harden also dished out 13 assists, accounting for 91 of Houston’s 137 points. Only three other players since the 1983-84 season have topped 55 points and 10 assists in a single game: Russell Westbrook (3/29/17), Tony Parker (11/5/08) and Michael Jordan (12/23/92).