James Harden is off to yet another great start this season. He leads the league in points with 38.9 points per game and on Saturday, had an incredible 60 point performance. Harden scored 60 against the Atlanta Hawks and did not play in the fourth quarter.
With his performance on Saturday, Harden took a slot on the Top 10 list for highest-scoring games this year. He tied for third with this game, as Blazers guard Damian Lillard had 60 earlier this season. Harden’s 60-point game was his eighth game on this list. He holds the top two spots on this list with two 61-point games. Harden’s display on the offensive end has been remarkable, and at this rate, it will continue throughout the season. With this in mind, one must ask, is Harden the best scorer of this era?
For the past few years, Harden has been on a scoring tear. He has been the league’s scoring champion for two consecutive seasons and could be on track to get his third. His first scoring champion season led to his first MVP win of his career. He averaged 30.4 points this season and had become the first player to have a 60 point triple-double. Harden returned with the following season and led the league in scoring with 36.1 points. He went on a streak of 32 consecutive games with 30 or more points.
Besides his streak, Harden also reached such milestones as becoming the second player in history to have 2,700 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds in one season. And with a career-high in steals, he became the second player to average at least 30 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals in one season. Michael Jordan was the first player to do so. Jordan’s name keeps coming up as Harden shines on offense.
Due to Saturday’s game, he surpassed both Kobe Bryant and Jordan for second all-time in 55 point games with his tenth 55-point game of his career. The only player he is chasing is Wilt Chamberlain, who had 72. So, Harden still has a long way to go.
Harden is one of the NBA’s best players and most likely its best scorer. Other players such as LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo excel in other areas, but when it comes to scoring, Harden takes the cake. He is arguably the best scorer of this era and it may be by a significant margin. Games such as Saturday’s win over the Hawks help make the argument.
As the season continues, fans should expect to see even more games like this from Harden. It is where he truly shines.
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