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HOUSTON (AP) — There was solely slightly over a minute left in Houston’s recreation and it regarded as if James Harden’s streak of 30-point video games could be ending.
Harden introduced the ball down the court docket and was enveloped by two defenders close to the 3-point line, so he handed to Chris Paul, who drew the protection away. After a few dribbles Paul turned and received it again to Harden, who stepped again and sunk a 3-pointer over Dorian Finney-Smith to maintain the streak alive.
Harden scored 31 factors for his 30th straight 30-point recreation regardless of coping with a shoulder damage, main the Rockets to a 120-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night time.
Paul was requested if he was decided to assist Harden lengthen the streak.
“For certain. He had what 28, so yeah, why not? We was up,” Paul stated.
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Harden, who had eight rebounds and 7 assists, gave the impression to be a bit slowed early by the strained left shoulder that he injured on Saturday towards Oklahoma Metropolis, making simply one in all his first seven pictures. However he warmed up after that and completed 9 of 23, capped by his sixth 3-pointer with 52.9 seconds remaining. Followers chanted “MVP! MVP!” after he sunk the shot.
Harden denied that he was involved about getting 30 factors, however he did say it was a “credit score to” Paul that he received the ball again to him.
“I used to be nervous about successful,” Harden stated. “They had been making their pictures. They had been coming again, minimize the result in I feel 10 or 9 factors … so I simply needed to get the correct pictures … I used to be simply making an attempt to make the precise play.”
He’s now only one recreation from tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-longest streak of 30-point video games in NBA historical past. Chamberlain additionally holds the highest 30-point recreation streak with 65 in a row.
Harden, who normally shies away from discussing any illnesses, acknowledged that his shoulder was bothering him on Monday night time and stated he’d been receiving therapy across the clock since Saturday night time.
“I couldn’t get the raise that I normally have from my shot,” he stated. “However that’s no excuse. I’m simply completely happy we gained the sport.”
Coach Mike D’Antoni may see that Harden’s shoulder was slowing him, and when he had simply 20 factors with lower than three minutes left he thought Monday could be the top of the streak.
“I didn’t suppose there was … (a) approach,” D’Antoni stated. “However he was wonderful.”
Houston had a 14-point lead coming into the fourth quarter and was up 106-90 when Harden entered the sport for the primary time within the interval with about 6 1/2 minutes left. The Mavericks went on a 7-Zero run after that, with a 3-pointer from Jalen Brunson, to get inside 106-97 with about Three 1/2 minutes remaining.
Harden heated up after that, making two 3-pointers in a 9-Three run to increase the result in 115-100 with about 2 minutes left and put the sport out of attain.
“We had a few good runs within the fourth after which they might come down and make a play,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle stated.
Luka Doncic had 21 factors, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Mavericks, who misplaced for the primary time this season to Houston after successful the primary two conferences.
Paul added 17 factors with 11 assists, and Gerald Inexperienced scored 19 factors with 5 3-pointers to assist Houston to its fourth win in 5 video games.
The Rockets had been up by 14 at halftime and Harden scored seven factors within the first couple of minutes of the third quarter to assist push the result in 76-58. Harden later dished to Inexperienced for a 3-pointer to make it 85-66.
Mavericks: Dwight Powell scored 12 factors. … Brunson had 13 factors and 5 rebounds. … Dallas made 13 of 36 3-pointers.
Rockets: Kenneth Faried had 17 factors and eight rebounds. Eric Gordon scored 18 factors. … Iman Shumpert had six factors in his second recreation in Houston since a commerce final week. … Houston made 23 3-pointers.
On an evening Paul moved into eighth place on the profession assists record with 8,972, he reminisced about his objective of passing John Stockton for first place in steals and assists when he entered the league in 2005. Nobody is even near the 15,806 assists and three,265 steals Stockton had in his 19-year profession with the Utah Jazz.
“I don’t like saying by no means however ain’t no person catching him. I don’t know who the statisticians had been who used to do the stats in Utah, however ain’t no person catching that,” Paul stated solely half-jokingly. “That’s out.”
Mavericks: Host Miami on Wednesday night time.
Rockets: Go to Minnesota on Wednesday night time.
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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