HOUSTON – Houston Rockets guard James Harden was named today by the NBA as Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in Dec., 2014. It marks the first time Harden has won the award and only the 12th time in Rockets franchise history an individual has won Western Conference Player of the Month honors. This marks the first time a Houston Rocket has won the award since Yao Ming received the honor in Jan., 2008.
Harden (6-5, 220, Arizona State) averaged 30.6 points (.478, 139-291 FG; .386, 39-101 3FG; .875, 112-128 FT), 7.1 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game in leading Houston to a 9-5 month. His 30.6 points per game average led all NBA scorers and Harden’s eight games recording 30 or more points and 3 games recording 40 or more points also led all players in the month of December. Harden’s most notable performance in the month came on Dec. 22, 2014, when he recorded a season-high tying 44 points, seven assists and five steals against the Portland Trail Blazers in just 31 minutes of play. In that contest, Harden joined Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Paul Westphal and Rick Barry as the only players to post at least 40 points, five assists and five steals in a game in less than 35 minutes of play. In the process he became the first Rocket to ever reach those plateaus multiple times regardless of minutes played (Harden 2, Olajuwon 1 and Drexler 1). Harden also recorded 44 points against the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 11, 2014 and 41 points against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 17, 2014 in overtime wins for the Houston Rockets.
During the month, James Harden earned his sixth and seventh career Western Conference Player of the Week Honors for the weeks ending Dec. 14 and Dec. 28.