Rockets’ James Harden scores 60 in three quarters vs. Hawks

Ross Houston
December 4, 2019

Houston Rockets guard James Harden didn't bother hiding his disbelief on the bench on Saturday night.

James Harden scaled the National Basketball Association record books on Saturday night by scoring his fourth 60-point game in his career, and he only needed three quarters to do so. But coach Mike D'Antoni kept the bearded superstar on the bench with the game well in hand.

"Name me another player who does that right now", Austin Rivers said.

Harden finished with 60 points to reach the mark for the fourth time and tie Jordan.

According to, "it was Harden's fourth career 60-point game, tying him with Michael Jordan for third most in National Basketball Association history, trailing only Kobe Bryant (six) and Wilt Chamberlain (32)". He is also the only active player who has scored 60 points a couple of times.

Harden made three 3-pointers and was fouled on 3-point attempts three other times in that stretch. "Nope", he said, before walking off.

The Rockets have now won their past four games against the hapless Hawks, who are the last-placed team in their conference with just four wins in 20 games.

The 24 field goal attempts is the fewest ever in a 60-point game in National Basketball Association history, edging out the previous best set by Karl Malone who shot 21-26 from the field for 61 points. With his Houston Rockets leading the Atlanta Hawks by 54 points after 36 minutes, Houston had no need to put him back in the game to push his total any higher. "He just didn't feel us".

Trae Young led the Hawks with 37 points and seven assists in the loss.

Harden poured in 13 points in the first quarter, helping the Rockets to a 38-21 advantage. Simmons was a flawless 7-of-7 from the free-throw line to finish the game with 15 points, 13 assists and six rebounds. Harden also had eight assists, three rebounds and three steals in the victory.

The Rockets were up 127-73 after three quarters, and Harden surely would have obliterated his career-high if it wasn't such a blowout.

"I was so close", he said, laughing.

In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points but his double-double streak ended at 19 games when he grabbed nine rebounds while playing only 20 minutes as the Bucks coasted to a win over Charlotte. That 38.9 total would be the highest in over 55 National Basketball Association seasons.

Sacramento trailed by 17 at halftime and didn't lead until Barnes made a jumper early in overtime.

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