On the one hand, James Harden scored 38 points for the Rockets in Orlando on Sunday night. It was his 16th consecutive game with at least 30, which ties Kobe Bryant for the league’s longest such streak since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77.
On the other hand, Harden had a dreadful night from long range. He took 17 three-pointers and missed all but one of them, which set one NBA record (for worst three-point percentage in a game) while tying another one (most misses in one game):
“They just didn’t go in,” Harden said afterward, per ESPN.
Stoudamire set the previous record for missed three-pointers with his 5-for-21 showing for the Trail Blazers against the Warriors in 2005.
Harden, who went 15 of 16 from the free throw line and 10 of 15 from two-point range in Houston’s 116-109 loss, will pass Bryant with another 30-point outing on Monday night against the Grizzlies. Wilt Chamberlain holds the all-time NBA record for consecutive 30-point games with 20 in 1963-64.
The reigning NBA MVP was able to make something out of a few of his errant three-pointers, however: He was fouled on three of the misses and made all nine free throws.
“That was exhausting,” Orlando’s Evan Fournier, who was assigned to chase Harden around the court, told the Associated Press. “The guy is terrific. I thought overall, we did a pretty good job, but the guy still had 38.”
Harden made two free throws to give Houston a 105-98 lead with 4:34 left in the game but went 1 of 5 from the field the rest of the way as Orlando went on a 14-4 over the final four minutes of the game.
“We scored enough points to win,” Harden said. “We didn’t have our focus defensively, like we have the last few weeks. We gave them 70 points or something in the second half [it actually was 64]. You give a team like this some confidence and open shots and they made them. It’s pretty simple.”
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