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James Harden, Bradley Beal rain points as Rockets win historic high-scoring battle

317 points mark the third-highest combined regulation score in NBA history

The Rockets-Wizards’ matchup Wednesday in Washington produced a raft of scoring milestones, some individual ones for James Harden, who stroked the nets for 59 points, and franchise- and combined-scoring records in Houston’s 159-158 victory.

Harden’s performance was his third career road game with 55 or more points. Only Michael Jordan (4) and Wilt Chamberlain (55) have had more. The only other active player with three 55-point-plus road games is LeBron James. Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant also had three.

Bradley Beal’s stellar night for the Wizards was somehow overshadowed: He dropped 46. The last time two players scored 55-plus points and 45-plus in the same regulation game happened on Dec. 14, 1962, when Chamberlain scored 63 and Elgin Baylor had 51.

The combined scoring for the two teams was the third-highest total for a non-overtime game in NBA history.

Most combined points in a regulation (non-OT) game, NBA history
Points Date Road Team Home Team
320 Nov. 2, 1990 Golden State (162) Denver (158)
318 Jan. 11, 1984 San Antonio (155) Denver (163)
317 Oct. 30, 2019 Houston (159) Washington (158)

As for team scoring, the 159 points for the Rockets set a franchise record. And the 158 points for the Wizards was the second-most in their history.

Additionally, Russell Westbrook notched a triple-double for the Rockets, with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time that teammates scored 55-plus and had a triple-double in the same game since 1992, when Reggie Miller (57) and Pooh Richardson (triple-double) accomplished the feat.

Teammates to score 55+ points and have triple-double in same game
Date Team Teammates
Oct. 30, 2019 Rockets James Harden (59 pts) and Russell Westbrook
Nov. 28, 1992 Pacers Reggie Miller (57 pts) and Pooh Richardson
March 3, 1985 Celtics Kevin McHale (56 pts) and Larry Bird
Feb. 9, 1969 Lakers Wilt Chamberlain (66 pts) and Elgin Baylor
Jan. 24, 1963 S.F. Warriors Wilt Chamberlain (58 pts) and Guy Rodgers
Dec. 8, 1961 Lakers Elgin Baylor (63 pts) and Jerry West
Dec. 1, 1961 Phila. Warriors Wilt Chamberlain (60 pts) and Tom Gola
Feb. 5, 1961 Phila. Warriors Wilt Chamberlain (55 pts) and Guy Rodgers
Stats via Elias Sports Bureau

Harden had 38 points in the second half — 21 in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth.

“The only way we’ll get to where we want to go is our defensive efforts and it has to be consistent,” Harden said. “Right now we’re not consistent and that’s why we go through tough times like that. That’s what the course of the year is for. We just try and build those habits and continue to keep building.”

Harden was 18 of 32 from the field, 6 of 14 from 3-point range, and made 17 of 18 free throws. He also had nine assists in 37 minutes.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.