Houston Rockets

This Date in NBA History (Dec. 1, IST): James Harden scorches Hawks with 60 points in three quarters

On Dec, 1, 2019, James Harden put on a show for everybody in attendance at the Toyota Center.

Against the visiting Atlanta Hawks, Harden went off for a season-high 60 points, one short of his career-high. In the 31 minutes he was on the floor, the Houston Rockets outscored the Hawks by 50.

Along with his points tally, Harden racked by eight assists, three rebounds and three steals while recording incredible shooting splits of .667/.571/.870. At the final horn, Houston clinched the game by a comfortable margin of 47 points (158-111).

"It's like everything else he does - unbelievable," former Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said.

With this performance, Harden tied Michael Jordan for the third-most 60-point games in NBA history with four. He also became only the fifth player ever and the third player in the last 25 seasons after Klay Thompson and Kobe Bryant to rack up 60 or more points in three quarters.

The Rockets had four other players finish in double figures but were missing two key starters in Clint Capela and Danuel House Jr. The Hawks could get nothing going other than an efficient 37-point outing for their young star, Trae Young.

"We try to do what we have to do against James, which is throw a lot of bodies at him," Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce said. "Try and put him under duress. He just didn't feel us."

Other notable events on Dec. 1

  • In 1977, Lenny Wilkens replaced Bob Hopkins as the head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics. The Sonics were 5-17 at the time of the coaching change but they went 42-18 the rest of the season. That's not all - under Wilkens, the team went all the way to the NBA Finals but lost in seven games.
  • ln 1990, Larry Bird scored the 20,000th point of his career. At the time, he was only the fifth player in NBA history (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West) to have recorded 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists.
  • In 1996, Jordan became the 10th player in NBA history and the second-fastest to reach 25,000 career points.
  • In 1996, the New Jersey Nets set the NBA record for most points in an overtime session with 25 in a 106-95 win over the LA Clippers.
  • In 2006, Kobe Bryant erupted for 52 points against the Utah Jazz in a 132-102 win for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant scored 30 points in the third quarter alone.

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