James Harden's 60-Point Triple-Double Was a Record-Breaking Masterpiece
In a career filled with milestones and monster performances, James Harden may have just had his most iconic game yet.
Last night, in a 114-107 victory over the Orlando Magic, the Houston Rockets' All-Star guard scored 60 points on 19-for-30 shooting from the field, 5-for-14 from three-point range, and 17-for-18 from the free throw line, while adding 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals, and a block for good measure.
If you didn't see it live, do yourself a favor and watch the complete highlights before reading any further.
He broke so many records with the performance, it's hard to keep track of them all.
Just the scoring alone gives him the highest point total in a single game of any player in the NBA this season, a new personal career high, and a Rockets franchise record.
The career high is impressive enough, considering this is a guy that had scored 50 or more points eight separate times prior to last night, but holding a franchise scoring record for a team that's had the likes of Calvin Murphy (previous record-holder with 57), Elvin Hayes (54), Moses Malone (53), Hakeem Olajuwon (52), and Tracy McGrady (48) all take a crack at it is incredible.
The most notable thing to come out of Harden's historic night, though, is the fact that he set a new record for the highest scoring total ever in a triple-double, beating out Russell Westbrook's 57-point effort in March of last year.
It's also his third time making the triple-double club with 50-plus points, of which there are only 12 entries in all of NBA history.
And for the fantasy players, Harden's record-book entries don't stop there.
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.@JHarden13 establishes the NEW #NBAFantasy mark for Fantasy Points in a game this season with 98.5! He posts a massive triple-double of 60 PTS (19/30 FG), 10 REB, 11 AST, 4 STL & 1 BLK! pic.twitter.com/rJq7sJkdUG
â€” NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) January 31, 2018
The Beard's 98.5 fantasy points were not only the most by a player this season (beating out DeMarcus Cousins' 97.8 from just over a week ago and Joel Embiid's 93.5 from mid-November), but also the second-most in FanDuel's history (2009 to present).
Harden has been the runner-up in MVP voting two of the last three seasons, but this year, he might be making his best case yet to win the NBA's highest individual honor.
His team's got the record (36-13), and he's definitely got the numbers (leading the NBA with 31.6 points per game), player efficiency rating (30.3), win shares (9.3), win shares per 48 minutes (.294), box plus/minus (10.6), and nERD (12.7) -- our proprietary metric that measures the total contribution of a player throughout the course of a season, based on his efficiency -- while coming in third in assists per game (9.1), eighth in steals (1.9), and third in value over replacement player (4.8), but now he also has an iconic, historically significant performance to pad the rÃ©sumÃ© to boot.
Good luck to any player that hopes to keep the trophy from him a third time.