Another day, and another 40+ point game for James Harden. Harden had 44 on Thursday in a win against their biggest Western Conference foe, the Golden State Warriors. On top of a triple double, Harden hit the game winning three with 1.0 left on the clock, pushing the Rockets to the 135-134 victory in overtime.
Harden has scored at least 40 points six times in his last ten games, and thursday nights performance makes it four games in a row with over 40 points. The scoring has directly impacted Houston’s results, which have swelled with wins, going 12-1 in the last 13. After a slow start, Harden has the Rockets winning again, even without Chris Paul.
Harden’s 44 point triple double included 10 rebounds and 15 assists. Clint Capela was on the receiving end of a number of those dimes, scoring 29 points and snagging 21 of his own rebounds.
Harden is looking like the league's most dangerous player, averaging 33.6 points and 8.6 assists each game, but he may have one of the most slept on big men in the league as a sidekick. Clint Capela is in his fourth NBA season, and has improved each year. This year, Houston has relied heavily on the Capela pick and roll, and Capela has came through, averaging four more points than last seasons average, scoring 17.3 a game.
Despite being a consistent pick and roll threat, Capela is actually doing even more damage to opponents on the boards. Capela is sixth in the league in rebounding, pulling down 12.7 rebounds a game, and has the second most offensive rebounds in the league (186), just 9 behind Andre Drummond (195).
Houston looks to have found their form, creating even more havoc in the wild Western Conference. Golden State, on the other hand, hasn’t played like the Warriors of the last two seasons. Golden State has now lost six games at home this season already, and trails the Thunder and Nuggets in the West, with Houston just 2 games back. It seems that the occasion is not big enough for the Warriors to feel threatened this early in the season. The scoring is there, with KD, Steph, and Klay Thompson all producing night in and night out, but Golden State is not closing out games like they have in the past. Nevertheless, look for Golden State to bounce back from this loss on Saturday when they visit the young Sacramento Kings.