NBA Rundown Week 15: James Harden's high-scoring streak, defending champions Warriors' dominance and more

Even Stephen Curry and LeBron James have an off day. But James Harden's not had one in 22 consecutive matches now ― his scores during this run of games being 35, 61, 37, 48, 58, 57, 38, 43, 42, 32, 38, 44, 43, 41, 45, 41, 39, 35, 35, 47, 32, 50. In this stretch, he's obliterated the New York Knicks with a 61-point blitz, walloped the Brooklyn Nets (58 points) and the Memphis Grizzlies (57), and made a mockery of defences and defenders. What’s even more incredible is that the 61-, 58- and 57-point games all came in January, a month in which he has racked up an average of 44.4 points.

Against the Toronto Raptors, Harden scored 35 to power the Houston Rockets to a 121-119 victory. This, despite fluffing 11 of his 13 three-point attempts.

While his red-hot scoring form has re-ignited the possibility of him becoming the MVP, critics have pointed out how one-sided the team has become.

It is entirely possible that Houston Rockets fans let out a load groan ― or at the very least, a silent sigh ― when Chris Paul returns to the roster, given that he will take the load off The Beard, which will possibly slow the juggernaut.

(PS: All of these stats are before Houston's game early on Monday against Orlando Magic, a game which could see Paul return to action after missing 17 games.)

Ouch!

Steph Curry steals the ball. He has over half the court to himself, with no defenders blocking his path. He courses forward full pelt with the ball. He…slips and falls!

Dancing Curry

This blooper notwithstanding, Curry will forever be associated with his spectacular three-pointers. But he seemed to take it up a notch against Boston Celtics on Sunday, breaking into a shimmy before the ball had even landed in the hoop.

Kyrie factor

For the Boston Celtics, who are still struggling to find their rhythm, Kyrie Irving has shown some sort of fluency. When his side played against the reigning champions Golden State Warriors on Sunday, Irving once again stepped up ― as he has done countless times this season against the top opponents.

He ended Sunday night with 32 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and two steals. However, the Warriors still ran away with a 115-111 victory, thanks to their stars Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, who took turns to traumatise the Celtics.

Durant (33 points on the night) scored 14 in the first quarter, while Curry (24 points) bagged 17 in the next. And while Thompson’s biggest contribution, arguably, came with him knocking back a three-pointer with the game tied at 108, he was a constant thorn in the Boston side. In sharp contrast, Boston’s other All-Star Gordon Hayward could manage just two points!

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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 09:40:47 IST

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