Friday, March 20, 2015

HARDEN SCORES 50 IN 118-108 WIN OVER DENVER - Craig Shelton - 03.20.2015

Craig Shelton

HOUSTON -- On a night that featured some of the Houston Rockets and NBA's most accomplished superstars seated alongside the Toyota Center hardeood, Rockets all-star guard James Harden, went for a career-high 50 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Rockets to a 118-108 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Harden began the night second in the NBA in scoring behind OKC's Russell Westbrook.

 Harden was clearly running on rocket fuel knowing the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were watching from the front row.

Thursday night the Rockets organization and James Harden put on a celebration for their fans on the 20th anniversary of the franchise's 1994 and 1995 back-to-back NBA titles. The CLUTCH CITY REUNION was also attended by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, as well as "Big Shot Bob" Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Mario Elie and Rudy Tomjanovich. 

It was a star-studded evening indeed, but Hsrden's star shined brightest! 

In the history of the Rockets franchise, there's only been nine occasions when a Rockets player scored 50 points. Harden's 50 point effort marked the first time a Rocket scored 50 points since Olajuwon's 51 points verses the Celtics in 1996.

Harden's previous career best before Thursday's outburst was 46 points in 2013.

Thursday's winning performance marked Harden's 29th game of the season with at least 30 points and his seventh game played with at least 40 points scored.

The James Harden 'haters' have plenty to whine about when they take a peep at the box score afte Thursday's game. Harden made 22 free throws on a night where the Rockets made 32 as a team. 

Harden attacked the basket consistently all night verses Denver's worn down, uninspired defense. Harden's 22 free throws were the most made by a player in the NBA this season.

Just when the conversation was starting to trend towards concerns over Harden's minutes wearing him thin, The Beard explodes for a 50 spot!

The Rockets are now 46-22 on the season and face Phenix Saturday night.

Craig Shelton

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