US basketball

Harden explodes for 58 points as Rockets cool down Heat

Agence France-Presse
The Rockets superstar proves unstoppable yet again versus a Heat side coming from a rousing upset of the defending champion Warriors


ON FIRE. James Harden comes out firing again after seeing his streak of scoring 30 or more points get snapped after 32 games. Photo from NBA Twitter

LOS ANGELES, USA –James Harden shouldered the scoring load, delivering his seventh career 50-point, 10-assist performance as the Houston Rockets edged the Miami Heat, 121-118, in the NBA  on Thursday, February 28 (Friday, March 1, Manila time)

With Harden in a three-point shooting slump over the last few games, the Rockets have been depending on their reserves to get the job done.

But Harden reasserted himself Thursday in front of a home crowd of 18,100 at the Toyota Center, finishing with 58 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds on a night when the Rockets had to tinker with their roster because of injuries.

Although shorthanded, the Rockets cooled down a Heat side coming from a rousing upset of the defending champion Golden State Warriors where Dwyane Wade knocked in a buzzer-beater.


Harden got some help down the stretch from Austin Rivers (17 points) and Chris Paul, whose jumper with 46 seconds left followed an errant Harden three-pointer and extended the lead to 3 points.

Coming into the game Harden was just 3-for-31 from beyond the arc in his previous 3 games.

Harden has three 50-point, 10-assist games this season. He had his streak of consecutive 30-point games snapped at 32 on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks.

Last month Harden made a career-high and franchise-record 61 points in a 114-110 win over the lowly New York Knicks.

Miami grabbed a 113-103 lead on a Goran Dragic three pointer with 6:18 remaining, but Houston answered with a 14-0 run to take the lead. 

Miami had 7 players scoring in double figures with Dragic and Kelly Olynyk scoring 21 points apiece.

The Heat shot 51.9% overall but went cold at the wrong time, posting only 20 points on 6-for-17 shooting in the final period.

The Rockets were without regulars Eric Gordon (knee), Kenneth Faried (hip) and Iman Shumpert (calf). –