Houston Rockets’ MVP James Harden has been lights out through the team’s first 10 games, as he looks to capture the scoring title for the third consecutive season.
On Monday night in New Orleans, Harden posted 39 points in a win, bringing his average to 37.3 points a night, which marks the highest the league has seen in the first 10 games in the past 50 seasons. Michael Jordan averaged 36.9 points per game through the first 10 games of the 1988-89 season, during his seven-year reign as the NBA’s scoring champ.
Following the 122-116 victory over the Pelicans, Harden brushed off his historic scoring streak, telling reporters, “I just go out there and play basketball.”
He added (H/T ESPN):
“Try to be assertive as I can. We’re really pissed about losing those three games — that’s what we’re thinking about [with the first 10 games]. I think defensively we’re getting better. We’ve been really good these last few games. And that’s our mindset, just continue to get better. Like, individually, I don’t care. I’ve done a lot of good things, pretty good things individually, so the most important thing is winning and finding ways to get better.”
No player has averaged more than 37 points per game in a season since MJ did it in the 1986-87 season. Up next for Harden and the Rockets are a pair of home games, including a nationally televised (ESPN) showdown against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, and a Friday night matchup against the Indiana Pacers.
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