You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Harden's NBA record triple-double

AAP logoAAP 1/01/2017

There is even more reason to fear the beard after James Harden produced a NBA record with his 53 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds performance as his Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks 129-122.

Season MVP contender Harden became the first player to register more than 50 points, 15 assists and 15 rebounds in an NBA game, according to the Rockets, citing information from the Elias Sport Bureau.

The bearded 27-year-old point guard also set personal career highs for points scored and three-pointers (nine) and matched his career best for assists.

"It was like NBA 2K numbers," New York's Brandon Jennings said, comparing Harden's performance to the video game. "I just told him afterward to just go and get the MVP and keep balling and doing what he's doing."

Harden's phenomenal haul came just one day after he scored 30 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals in a 140-116 win over the LA Clippers.

Against the undermanned Knicks, he passed his previous career best of 51 points on a three with 1:16 left, leading to a standing ovation from his home crowd.

"He's an unbelievable player," said Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni.

Harden has thrived as the point guard in new coach D'Antoni's fast-paced system.

He is averaging 28.5 points and an NBA-best 12 assists per game for the Rockets who sit third in the western conference behind the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.

Asked what it's been like playing under D'Antoni, Harden said: "It's been a dream so far."

It was Harden's 17th career triple-double and his fourth career 50-point game.

Meanwhile, MVP rival Russell Westbrook turned it on again as his Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back nicely from an ugly toss at Memphis, in which he was ejected after a second technical foul.

Westbrook had 17 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds for his NBA-best 16th triple-double of the season, leading the Thunder to a 114-88 victory over the depleted Clippers.

Westbrook played just 28 minutes as Oklahoma City put away their opponents, who were without Chris Paul (hamstring) and Blake Griffin (knee surgery), with a big first half.

Earlier, LeBron James scored 17 of his 32 points in the first quarter in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 121-109 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Kevin Love added 28 points and 10 rebounds for defending champions Cleveland, who played without Kyrie Irving after the point guard injured his right hamstring during Thursday's 124-118 NBA victory over Boston.

In Sacramento, Mike Conley had 22 points and eight rebounds, helping the Memphis Grizzlies to a 112-98 win over the Kings.

In Chicago, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 35 points, Jabari Parker added 27 and the Milwaukee Bucks used a huge fourth quarter to beat the Bulls 116-96.

Milwaukee's starting point guard Matthew Dellavedova missed the game due to a strained hamstring but the Australian is expected to be right to face Oklahoma on Monday.

Utah defeated Phoenix 91-86 with Australian Joe Ingles scoring nine points for the Jazz.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon