James Harden put on a show against the Memphis Grizzlies, leading the Houston Rockets to a 107-100 win, closing out their four-game road trip in style.
With Russell Westbrook rested, Harden took the reigns of the Rockets offence, pouring in 44 points on 12-of-28 shooting from the field, 7-of-16 from the three-point line and 13-of-18 from the free-throw line.
Harden added 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block on the night as the Rockets move to 4-3 on the season.
With his third 40+ game of the season, Harden now has the fifth-most regular-season 40-point games in NBA history, passing Allen Iverson for sole possession of fifth-place on the all-time list.
He now trails only Elgin Baylor (88), Kobe Bryant (122), Michael Jordan (173) and Wilt Chamberlain (271)
James Harden has his 80th career 40-point game, passing Allen Iverson for sole possession of 5th in NBA history pic.twitter.com/H93bF0uTvh- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 5, 2019
With the scores tied at 70-70 with 5:39 remaining in the third, Harden and Ben McLemore combined for an 11-0 run to give the Rockets a double-digit lead, before taking an 84-76 lead into the fourth. In a game featuring 15 ties and seven lead changes, the Grizzlies kept coming at the Rockets, with Dillon Brooks' jumper cutting the Rockets lead to 102-96 late in the fourth.
With the game in the balance, Harden iced the game with a trademark stepback jumper to put his squad up nine with 1:38 left.
Jam3s Hard3n pic.twitter.com/9hCTL44jg4- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 5, 2019
The Rockets entered the game as the league's worst team defending the three-point line, putting in a much improved performance guarding the perimeter to hold the Grizzlies to just 3-of-25 from beyond the arc.
Eric Gordon added 16 points, while Danuel House Jr. recorded 15 points and nine rebounds. Clint Capela finised with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.
🗣 SLAM GORDON!! pic.twitter.com/HBdOhiP32K- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 5, 2019
Rookie Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds, including this huge putback jam!
😤 @JaMorant puts it back!#OneMission x #GrindCity- NBA (@NBA) November 5, 2019
💻📲: https://t.co/3bTQPOmwYk pic.twitter.com/ye36bzLsnB
Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Jae Crowder was ejected with 2:02 remaining in the fourth, after Harden's knee made contact with his groin. After the foul was called on Crowder the pair exchanged words and the Grizzlies forward was done for the night. Harden was assessed a flagrant-1 foul after it was reviewed by the officials.