James Harden’s career night against the Utah Jazz leads the Houston Rockets to their third consecutive win

James Harden
James Harden looks at the scoreboard as it’s announced he has made a career high score against the Utah Jazz.
(Michael Wyke / Associated Press)

James Harden had just scored a career-high 56 points when he was asked if he knew he had fallen one point shy of the Houston Rockets’ record.

Harden shrugged and replied, “We won, right?”

And they did it with Harden only playing 35 minutes in a 137-110 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night that ran their Western Conference-best record to 8-3.

Harden fell just shy of Calvin Murphy’s 57 points against New Jersey in 1978, but he joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to have 10 assists and shoot better than 75 percent from the field in a 50-point performance.


Harden had 13 assists and shot a sizzling 76 percent from the floor, hitting 19 of 25 shots after missing his last three attempts. The MVP runner-up was a perfect 7 for 7 from beyond the arc until he missed a step-back 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter as the shot clock was about to expire.

Even when the Jazz could deny Harden his shot, he dished it off for someone else to score. Eric Gordon scored 20 points, Trevor Ariza had 14 and Nene scored 13 off the bench.

“That was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen,” Gordon said. “He was picking them apart and not just with scoring. What else can you do?”


Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 17 points in 25 minutes off the bench. Rudy Gobert had 13 points but was held to a season-low five rebounds in 25 minutes.

The Rockets have won three straight, while the Jazz have lost back-to-back games following a three-game winning streak.

Atlanta 117, at Cleveland 115: Dennis Schroeder scored 28 points and the Hawks ended a losing streak at eight games. Kevin Love of the Cavaliers left in the third quarter and was taken to a hospital because of an undisclosed illness. LeBron James had 26 points and 13 assists for Cleveland, which has lost five of seven games.

Boston 104, at Orlando 88: Jaylen Brown scored 18 points, Al Horford had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the Celtics won their eighth game in a row after starting the season with two losses. The Magic have lost two consecutive games.

Washington 107, at Toronto 96: Bradley Beal scored 38 points and the Wizards overcame the absence of point guard John Wall, who sat out because of a sprained left shoulder. The Raptors lost starting point guard Kyle Lowry with 8:08 remaining in the second quarter after picking up two technical fouls.

at San Antonio 112, Phoenix 95: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points for the Spurs, who held the Suns to 13 points in the third quarter, the lowest production by a Spurs opponent in any quarter this season.

at Minnesota 112, Charlotte 94: Jeff Teague had 18 points and 12 assists, and the Timberwolves won for the fifth consecutive time. The last time Minnesota won five games in a row was Jan. 2-10, 2009.

at New York 108, Indiana 101: Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 40 points to bring the Knicks back from a 19-point deficit. It was his seventh 30-point performance in nine games this season.


at Portland 103, Oklahoma City 99: Damian Lillard had 36 points and 13 assists, and his driving layup with 29.5 seconds to play gave the Trail Blazers a 98-94 lead the Thunder were unable to overcome.

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