As we mentioned a few days earlier, James Harden has been on another level, scoring at a historic pace that hasn’t required the help of his teammates to create his shots (or any of his made field goals for that matter). Usually unassisted baskets aren’t a metric that translates into wins, but in the last twenty or so games that Harden has been going HAM, the Rockets are a healthy 15-6.
That continued tonight in Madison Square Garden where the bearded one set a new career high with 61 points and joined a pantheon of legends to have made the New York City crowd ooh and ahh the most. Harden’s 61 point outburst wasn’t just a personal best, but it tied Kobe Bryant‘s scoring record for a visiting opponent at the current Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony holds the record for any player at Madison Square Garden with 62 points. Here’s the list of the top scoring performances that has ever happened at Madison Square Garden:
The list includes Anthony’s iconic performance, Steph Curry’s first coming out party as the current player we know him as and Michael Jordan’s “double nickel” game (wearing #45) after returning to the NBA; trying to get back into game shape.
Even when the Knicks aren’t great — and they haven’t been for many years now, players still look forward to coming to MSG to play. That something that gets players wanting to have a great game in “The Garden” is that it’s one of the, if not THE, most iconic basketball arenas in the history of the game. And the fans are wild. So you can always guarantee that a player is going to try and light it up when they visit the Knicks. It’s a good bet to place at betbrain: bonus offers, free bets if you’re into that kind of thing.
Anyways it seemed that Harden would come short of his 60 point career high as he sat on 59 points with it being Knicks possession with 10 seconds remaining. However, the Knicks inbounded to Noah Vonleh and lost the ball. Harden picked it up and streaked to the basket to set his career best scoring night. The Houston Rocket’s shooting guard finished the game with 17-of-38 shooting from the floor that included just 5-of-20 on 3-pointers. What made up for his less-than-stellar shooting night was the fact that he shot 22-of-25 from the line — missing his only free throws consecutively. He also corralled 15 rebounds.