James Harden scored 49 factors in a 153-149 extra time victory over the Dallas Mavericks, nevertheless it was the Houston Rockets’ defensive effort that the previous MVP needed to spotlight.
One other effective offensive night time from Harden noticed him transfer previous Calvin Murphy to grow to be the participant with the second-most factors within the franchise’s historical past, behind solely Hakeem Olajuwon.
With Russell Westbrook including 31 factors, 11 rebounds and eight assists too, it was a effective outing for Houston’s main duo, although Harden was fast to defer reward to the collective efficiency on the different finish of the court docket.
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“It is not even concerning the factors,” Harden instructed ESPN on the court docket after the sport. “Our effort was there constantly all through the course of the night time in opposition to among the best offenses on this league. They had been going to be robust from the start of the sport and we had to stick with it, even once we had been down by double digits. We stored combating, particularly on the defensive finish and compelled extra time. We needed to stick with it and provides ourselves an opportunity on the finish of the sport. We did that. Our confidence defensively was constructing, particularly in that fourth quarter. We stored pushing the tempo, stored combating.”
Luka Doncic had a triple-double for the Mavs — his NBA-leading 15th of the season — however went simply one-for-nine from three-point vary, whereas Trey Burke added 31 factors from the bench having drained eight of his 10 makes an attempt from past the arc.
“We’re a younger crew. We now have acquired loads to study,” Doncic mentioned. “We are going to get higher, for positive. I do know we’re going to get collectively when it issues most, so I am not nervous about that.”