James Harden’s historic run of consecutive games with at least 30 points ended in the Rockets’ 119-111 win over the Hawks. The reigning Kia MVP came up just short, finishing with 28 points on another tough shooting night. Harden, who said he was still bothered by a neck problem, connected on just seven of his 21 shots and missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts.
Harden’s 32-game run of games with 30 or more points was the second-longest in NBA history behind a 65-game streak by Wilt Chamberlain.
Harden got to 28 points with 23.3 seconds left and had the ball on Houston’s last possession but did not attempt a shot with the game in hand. Considering the quadruple team, the Hawks appeared to be aware of the situation and were not about to commit a foul or let Harden break free for a meaningless layup that would have extended the streak.
Harden, who last came up short of 30 points in a Dec. 11 win over Portland, didn’t seem too upset about his streak coming to an end.
“It was cool, but I knew I wasn’t going to get to No. 1,” Harden said before walking away chuckling.
Harden averaged 41.1 points during the streak. He scored 50-plus points four times and recorded a career-high 61 points on Jan. 23 against the Knicks. The streak also included a five-game run of 40-point outings.
With a pick-and-roll pocket pass to Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James passed Andre Miller for 10th place on the all-time assists list with 8,525 and counting.
James is the only non-point guard among the top 10 and the only player in league history to rank in the top 10 in both assists and scoring (5th).
Ahead of James on the career assists leaderboard are Gary Payton (8,966), Chris Paul (9,014), Isiah Thomas (9,061), Oscar Robertson (9,887), Magic Johnson (10,141), Mark Jackson (10,334), Steve Nash (10,335), Jason Kidd (12,091) and John Stockton (15,806).
James finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, but the Grizzlies held off the Lakers 110-105.
The triple-double was the 79th of James’ career, which breaks a tie with Wilt Chamberlain for fifth-most in NBA history.
DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 24 points and 11 rebounds in the Warriors’ 121-110 victory over the Hornets. It was Cousins’ first 20-10 game with Golden State and the first time he’s exceeded 30 minutes this season.
And for good measure, Cousins received a bizarre technical foul in the fourth quarter when he tossed Jeremy Lamb’s shoe, which had fallen off, out of the lane.
Boogie threw Jeremy Lamb’s shoe into the crowd and got t’ed up. pic.twitter.com/BNG0tdDpOJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 26, 2019
Cousins argued his case with the referees, but the league rules stipulate that throwing an object into the stands — for any reason — merits an automatic technical foul.
After the game Cousins told reporters, “Next time, I’ll just step on the shoe, roll my ankle, break it, tear an Achilles.”
Towns returns, dominates Kings
Four days after emerging from a scary car accident with only minor injuries, Karl-Anthony Towns was happy to be back on the court — and it showed.
Towns had 34 points, 21 rebounds and five assists, as the Timberwolves defeated the Kings 112-106 at Target Center.
During a 21-1 run in the second quarter that put the Wolves ahead to stay, Towns made three 3-pointers and threw down a windmill dunk. Moments later he added a monster putback.
Towns, who had never missed a game in his NBA career before sitting out the last two while being evaluated for concussion-like symptoms, has a new outlook.
“You’re so used to just grinding your body to dust every single day, and you don’t get a chance to realize how much you appreciate being there,” Towns said. “I’ve always wanted to be available for my teammates, be available for the Wolves, but when you sit out you’re looking at a different perspective.”
With Dirk Nowitzki making what was likely his final trip to the Staples Center as a player, Clippers coach Doc Rivers made sure Nowitzki received the proper recognition.
Rivers called a timeout with nine seconds remaining, grabbed the microphone at center court and implored the crowd to give the future Hall of Famer a standing ovation before time expired.
“I didn’t plan that,” Rivers told reporters after the game. “He deserved it.”
Side note: Nowitzki became the fourth player in NBA history to appear in 1,500 regular-season games, joining John Stockton (1,504), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) and Robert Parish (1,611)
Stat Of The Night
Trae Young knocked down a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 36 points, becoming the first rookie to outscore Harden since Towns on March 18, 2016.