James Harden’s streak of scoring at least 30 point a game finally ended at 32 in the Houston Rockets’ win over the Atlanta Hawks Monday night. The stretch, which dates back to Dec. 13, concluded after Harden finished with a mere 28 points against Atlanta. Only Wilt Chamberlain, who dropped at least 30 in 65 straight games, has a longer run.
Hilariously, with Harden just two points away from continuing the record, the Hawks quadruple-teamed him on the final possession. Harden chose to just dribble the final 10.6 seconds with his team up eight points.
Gotta take the Ws where you can.
Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was asked if Harden’s decision to not go for 30 on the last play showed class. “You guys probably would’ve killed him on Twitter, right? It was self-preservation. That was smart. I don’t know about having class. That was smart.”
“It was cool,” Harden said of the streak, according to ESPN. “I knew I wasn’t going to get to No. 1.” He added, “That streak was great, but I was just doing it because that’s what we had to do in order to keep our heads above water. Now, we get our full roster back.”
Given the way he played against Atlanta, it’s amazing how close he came to preserving the streak. Harden went 7-of-21 from the field and 0-of-10 from three-point range, though in vintage Harden fashion he scored 14 points out of 16 from the free-throw line.
It’s not the first time he went 0-of-10 from three — he’s done it four times total, which is twice as many as any player in league history, according to ESPN. But as one of the league’s best scorers, he’ll continue to get the green light to launch from anywhere.