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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

James Harden

James Harden ‘bothered’ by sore shoulder

James Harden Rockets

James Harden’s 30-point scoring streak continued on Monday despite a sore shoulder sustained during a game over the weekend.

During Saturday’s game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, Harden got tangled up with Steven Adams. The result was a sore shoulder that required attention from the Rockets’ training staff during the game. Later that evening, Harden downplayed the impact of the sore shoulder on his play.

Following Monday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, in which Harden eclipsed the 30-point mark for the 30th game in a row, Mike D’Antoni said the sore shoulder bothered his star throughout the night.

Harden will likely continue to downplay the effects of the soreness on his play. However, now that D’Antoni has made it public that Harden is bothered by it, this will be something worth monitoring. Harden is as important to the Rockets as any player is to his team.

James Harden agrees with Kobe Bryant’s comments on Rockets

James harden

Kobe Bryant poured some cold water on the Houston Rockets’ current style of play, and James Harden is actually in agreement.

On Monday, Bryant said on ESPN that Houston’s current style of having Harden dominate the ball is not one that can win championships.

“I’m not a fan of it in terms of winning championships,” Bryant said on ESPN. “I don’t think that style is ever going to win championships. But at the same time, you have to keep your team’s head above water to win games. You have to do what you have to do to win games. And he’s doing that.”

Bryant knows first-hand about dominating the ball and trying to carry a team the way Harden is. Prior to Harden’s run of high-scoring games this season, Kobe’s ’05-’06 season where he averaged 35.6 points per game was the closest thing that resembled it. The Lakers went 45-37 that season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Harden is now averaging 36.5 points per game this season after a torrid January in which he averaged over 43 points per game. He knows he’ll need much more help from his teammates in order to have greater team success. He therefore agrees with Kobe.

Now that they have Chris Paul back and are getting some other players back up to speed, Harden expects to be able to share things more.

Harden was more or less doing what he had to given the Rockets’ situation. With CP3 back, Austin Rivers and Kenneth Faried added to the mix, and perhaps another addition coming, Houston is getting deeper.

James Harden disappointed with ‘terrible’ Rockets loss

James harden

James Harden expressed disappointment with his Houston Rockets after a 121-116 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at home on Tuesday night.

Harden’s Rockets were up most of the first half and led by seven at the half. They consistently led throughout the game until the final 14 minutes or so when the Pelicans took the lead.

Then down by four with around 15 seconds to go, Harden stepped out of bounds because he was expecting a foul call that never came. That turnover helped seal things for the Pelicans.

After the game, Harden said the loss was “terrible” and called out his Rockets for a lack of energy.

The team was off in many regards. Harden was just 11/32 shooting as the team shot 39.6 percent from the field. The Pelicans shot 51.1 percent on the other hand.

Houston is now 1-1 since Chris Paul’s return from a hamstring injury.

Teammate has funny comment about James Harden’s defensive stop to end game

James harden

PJ Tucker had a funny comment about James Harden’s defensive stop to seal the Houston Rockets’ win on Friday night.

The Rockets were up 121-119 on the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard had the ball for the final shot. He made a move on Harden and ended up throwing up an airball.

Harden bothered Leonard enough that he took an uncomfortable shot at the buzzer. After the win, Tucker joked that Harden “can play defense when he wants to.”

That is the truth. Harden has been ridiculed over his defense, with a particular video of his most embarrassing plays damaging his reputation. When he wants to, though, he can be good on that end, just as he showed against Toronto.

James Harden breaks franchise record with 61 points

James harden

James Harden is having a historic season, and it was highlighted by a historic performance on Wednesday night.

Harden scored a career-high 61 points in the Houston Rockets’ 114-110 win over the Knicks in New York. The 61 points were a franchise record for the Rockets and tied Kobe Bryant for the record in points scored by an opponent at Madison Square Garden.

The way Harden got his final points was impressive:

Harden was one point away from Carmelo Anthony’s record of 62 points in a game at MSG.

Harden went 17/38 from the field, including 5/20 on threes. He racked up the points at the line, where he was 22/25. He also added 15 rebounds and five steals.

Harden is now averaging 36.2 points per game this season and well over 43 points per game in January. His play is on another level.

Nets coach compares D’Angelo Russell to James Harden

D’Angelo Russell is having a breakout season for the surprising Brooklyn Nets, which has his head coach duly impressed.

Russell scored 31 points and made 7 of 14 threes in the Nets’ 123-94 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. After their win, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson compared Russell to James Harden for some of his three-point shooting.

Nobody is going to say that Russell is as good as Harden, but some of his shots seem right out of Harden’s playbook.

Russell is up to 19 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Most impressively, he’s shooting .437/.374/.810, which are the best marks of his career. He’s stepping up this year.

Luke Walton sets goal for Lakers against James Harden

James Harden Rockets

The Los Angeles Lakers face off against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, making them the latest team to try to stop James Harden.

Harden is averaging a cool 42 points per game in his last 18 games, and it’s quite telling that Lakers coach Luke Walton is more focused on containing him in a certain sense than actually stopping him, setting a rather unique goal for his team.

Harden has scored 57 and 58 points in his last two games. That goal sounds a lot less absurd than it is when take in that context, tongue-in-cheek or not.

Every number and goal set around Harden right now seems improbably lofty, but the guy keeps producing. We’ll see if the Lakers have any luck with their aims, and if it’s enough even if they “succeed.”