Reigning MVP James Harden scored a season-high 57 points to lead the Houston Rockets past the Memphis Grizzlies. Harden also made a bit of NBA history in the process, as it marked a 17th consecutive game with at least 30 points.
He surpassed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who had a streak of 16 straight 30-point games, which stood as the most since the NBA-ABA merger (1976-77). Overall, Harden’s streak is the longest since Wilt Chamberlain had 20 straight games with at least 30 points in 1964.
Hall-of-Fame Lakers guard Elgin Baylor had 18 such games in a row to finish the 1961-62 season and start the 1962-63 campaign.
Harden broke Bryant’s record by halftime, as he scored 36 points through the first two quarters. Harden’s 40-point game was a franchise-record 14th this season, and eighth in his last 11 games. Moreover, it marked a third time scoring at least 50 points this season.
This marks yet another record of Bryant’s that has fallen in the past few months. Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki became the NBA’s all-time leader in most seasons played with one team when he made his 2018-19 debut last November.
Meanwhile, LeBron James overtook Bryant for most career assists on Christmas Day, and prior to that broke a tie with the five-time champion and Jason Kidd for most triple-doubles in a 16th season or later.
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