On Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings, James Harden tied Hakeem Olajuwon for the most triple-doubles in Houston Rockets history. Houston beat the Kings 132-98 for their eighth win in a row. The Rockets are undefeated in the month of December.
Harden dropped 15 points on 4-for-7 shooting, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds with three 3-pointers on his way to his fifth triple-double of the season and 14th of his career. In his last 10 games, he’s averaging 27.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 10.3 assists and two steals per game.
Granted the Kings didn’t have DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay tonight, Houston has been the hottest team thus far in the NBA. One of the reasons for their success has been new coach Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced offensive system. Houston is fourth in offensive efficiency and top 10 in pace. They’re second in the league in points per game (112.0) and attempt the most three-pointers.
Now, this team may not make a deep run in the playoffs, however, you can’t deny how productive they’ve been with Harden as the main ball handler. At this point, Harden is making a statement as an MVP candidate. With players like Patrick Beverly, Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon, these players fit this high tempo, run and gun offense. Only time will tell if they can make a dent in a highly competitive Western Conference.
Harden has an opportunity to break the team’s triple-double record Friday against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.