Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 60 points as part of a triple-double, finishing with 60 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
“I just gave it all I had tonight,” Harden said (h/t ESPN).
“We all did. We all fought for 48 minutes, we got key stops when we needed to and we made big shots.”
The Rockets had a slim roster as guard Chris Paul was out with a sore groin, Trevor Ariza was out with a strained hamstring, and guard Eric Gordon left early in the second quarter with lower back stiffness.
“I looked at Coach and said, ‘Eric can’t go,”’ Harden said. “He said go get ’em. And after that, I didn’t come out of the game.”
“Amazing, [and] topped it off with a four-point play at the end,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “But we had to have every minute from him.”
Harden was also a menace on defense, notching 4 steals and blocking a shot in the historic performance.
“It’s a good feeling, I guess,”Harden said. “Just try to go out there and make an impact every single night on the game, however I can. Whether it’s scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, whatever it is. And tonight, I guess I was doing everything.”
“I have never seen a performance like that,” Rockets guard Gerald Green said. “I caught myself just being a true fan throughout the whole game. … What he did today was remarkable.”
Rockets’ Brandon Knight Could Return in December
Houston Rockets guard Brandon Knight, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns prior to the start of the regular season, could make his return to the court and join the Rockets’ active roster sometime in December, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic.
Per the report:
A source told The Athletic that the team has been very cautious with Knight and there is a possibility of a return in December. Knight is viewed as someone who can help take minutes from Paul and Harden. Paul is averaging 34.5 minutes per game and Harden 35.8. Knight has been taking shots and going through layup drills before the start of games.
Knight, 26, is still recovering from a knee injury and has not see much action over the past few seasons.
Rockets’ Gary Clark Talks Impact Season for Houston
Houston Rockets undrafted rookie Gary Clark has been a surprise this season, playing so well that he overtook the minutes allotted for veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, who the Rockets eventually parted ways with, and continues to be a player for the team.
Clark has worked hard to gain a spot in the rotation, and it is paying off.
“I used to hear it all the time,” Clark said, according to Maurice Bobb of Bleacher Report. “They didn’t think I could play in the NBA. That was the one thing that I heard more than anything else: ‘This kid, he’s too small, he’s not long enough, he’s not athletic. He can’t shoot it that well, so he can’t play in the NBA.’”
“Gary Clark’s a player,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a player. His defense, his rebounding—smart, right position, shoots the ball. I mean, he’s a player.”
“When it comes down to winning, I do the things that a team needs,” Clark said. “I don’t always score. I will never complain about scoring or shots. But you’ll see me getting steals, rebounds, blocking shots, getting other guys opportunities to score. All I’m about is winning.”
“You can just see it,” Rockets MVP guard James Harden said. “From blocking shots to running the floor to rebounding the ball and grabbing offensive rebounds — just the way he plays — that’s what we need from him.”
Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony Surprised by Chris Paul 2-Game Suspension
Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony is a little bit shocked that his teammate, and close friend, Chris Paul only received a 2-game suspension for his fight with Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Rajon Rondo during their game on Saturday.
“I’m actually a little shocked at the number of games that they are missing” Anthony said, according to Martin Rogers of USA Today Sports.
Anthony has a point, as the suspensions seems a bit weird given that Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram was handed a four-game ban for his role as an instigator during the fight, double what Paul, who was actually one of the main culprits, received.
“It actually works in our favor to be honest with you, I have seen it go 10-15 games before – I was the culprit of that years ago. But to see CP – I don’t want to be speaking on CP – but to see CP only get two games… I didn’t know what to expect to be honest.
“I talked to (Chris) before the game, checking in on him to check he was good,” Anthony stated. “His spirits were up, nobody wants to be suspended. I think we all know how much of a competitor he is and to be here missing this game against the Clippers after coming off a big game last night, I am sure he is disappointed. In life things happen, you got to adjust to it.”
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