);
NBA

James Harden ties career-high with 61 points, joining some elite company as Rockets hold off Spurs' comeback

#Harden
(NBA Getty Images)

James Harden continues to add to his MVP case with another ridiculous scoring outburst, leading the Houston Rockets to a 111-105 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Harden poured in a career-high 61 points, seven rebounds and one assist, tying his effort against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden earlier this season. He now has three career 60-point games, tying Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history with three or more career 60-point games.

His 61 came on 19-of-34 shooting from the field, 9-of-13 from the three-point line and 14-of-17 at the free throw line. In the process, Harden moved into 10th place on the NBA's all-time three-pointers made list, passing Joe Johnson.

Harden was in the zone from the jump, exploding for 27 points in the first quarter, the most he's ever scored in a single quarter, tying him with Brooklyn Nets point guard D'Angelo Russell for the most points scored in a single quarter so far this season.

Harden shot 7-for-10 in the opening quarter, 3-for-4 from the three-point line and 10-for-12 from the free throw line.

He finished with 37 points for the half as the Rockets estabished a 62-47 lead.

San Antonio came out of the break with a renewed defensive energy, trapping Harden on the perimeter as they tried to force the ball out of his hands. While #13 kept finding ways to score, his teammates struggled to get going and by the end of the third quarter, Harden's teammates combined to shoot just 14-of-43 from the field.

The Spurs outscored the Rockets 34-19 in the third quarter, shooting a sizzling 59.1% from the field, entering the fourth quarter tied at 81-81.

With the Spurs leading 100-94 with 4:13 remaining in the fourth, Harden found an extra gear, going on a personal 13-2 run, knocking down back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to swing the game back in Houston's favour.

After Harden's outburst, the Rockets took a 107-102 lead with 1:25 left, hanging on to seal the W in front of a raucous Toyota Center crowd.

Harden has now scored 118 points over his past two games, after dropping 57 points in a close loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday.

With the win, the third-placed Rockets move to 46-27 on the season, giving them a 1.0 game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers.

More from NBA.com

Elena Delle Donne and A'ja Wilson
Results from WNBA's 2019 All-Star Draft
Yash Matange
davis-harden-usa-ftr.jpg
Lillard, DeRozan latest to withdraw from Team USA
Kyle Irving
#George #Harden
Clippers targeted Harden & Beal before George trade
Benyam Kidane
Marc Gasol
Gasol happy Grizzlies ignored his desire to stay
Benyam Kidane
Zion Williamson
Zion signs with Jordan Brand
Kyle Irving
pacific-division-offseason-rankings-072319-ftr-nbacomillustration
Divisional Rankings: Did Clippers or Lakers win offseason?
Gilbert McGregor
More News