There are several ways to express that James Harden’s performance tonight was historic—a personal high score, a franchise high score, the first 60-point triple-double in NBA history—but there’s maybe nothing that’s quite so impressive as just looking at the stat line itself:
60 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 63 percent shooting. Damn.
With no Chris Paul (groin), Trevor Ariza (hamstring) or, for most of the night, Eric Gordon (left early with back stiffness), Harden was needed for 46 minutes tonight, and the game against the Magic still ended up surprisingly close. At halftime, Houston was down by one. Heading into the fourth quarter, they were up by just two, and that only from this Harden three:
But Harden dialed up the intensity with 18 points in the final quarter, including this three-pointer as part of a four-point play to seal his spot in history and extend a last-minute lead for the 114-107 win: