NBA: James Harden surpasses Kobe Bryant for most consecutive 30-point games since merger as Rockets top Grizzlies

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes up for a shot as Memphis Grizzlies' Garrett Temple (17) and Mike Conley defend.
(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

James Harden scored a season-high 57 points to carry the short-handed Houston Rockets to a 112-94 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

The reigning MVP extended his streak of 30-point games to 17 by halftime, pouring in 36 points over the first two quarters to put Houston on top. It’s the longest such streak since Wilt Chamberlain had 20 straight games of at least 30 points in 1964, and the most since the NBA/ABA merger. Harden surpassed Kobe Bryant’s record of 16 consecutive games with 30 or more points.

It’s the franchise-record 14th time Harden has scored 40 this season and the eighth time in his last 11 games. It’s the third time he’s topped 50 points this season and the 12th time in his career. He surpassed his previous season best of 54 against Washington and fell just shy of the career-high and club-record 60 points he scored last January against Orlando.


Garrett Temple and Mike Conley scored 14 each for the Grizzlies, who lost for the eighth time in nine games.

Harden’s big game came on a night when the Rockets were without three starters, as center Clint Capela joined Chris Paul and Eric Gordon on the injured list after hurting his right thumb Sunday.

Harden scored 38 points Sunday in a loss to Orlando despite going 1 for 17 from 3-point range. This time, he made his first two 3s and finished 6 of 15. He also hit 15 of 17 free throws and pulled down nine rebounds.

at Nets 109, Celtics 102: D'Angelo Russell scored 18 of his 34 points in the third quarter and Brooklyn ended a 10-game losing streak to Boston, sending the Celtics to a winless three-game road trip.

With Kyrie Irving nursing a bruised right quadriceps, the Nets broke open the game with a 15-0 run in the third and outscored the Celtics 44-21 in the period.

Jarrett Allen added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who have won nine of their last 10 home games. Rookie forward Rodions Kurucs also scored 19.

Jayson Tatum had 34 points for the Celtics, who dropped games at Miami and Orlando to start their trip. Jaylen Brown added 22.

Boston also played without Marcus Smart because of an illness.

Hornets 108, at Spurs 93: Kemba Walker scored 33 points and Tony Parker enjoyed a triumphant return to San Antonio as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Spurs on Monday night, snapping their seven-game home winning streak.

Parker had eight points, four assists and three rebounds in his first game back in San Antonio after signing with the Hornets during the offseason.

Jeremy Lamb added 19 points and Marvin Williams had 11 for Charlotte, which ended a three-game skid. The Hornets also stopped an 11-game slide in San Antonio.

at Jazz 100, Pistons 94: Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points and Rudy Gobert tied a career high with 25 rebounds to propel the Utah Jazz past the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.

Kyle Korver had 19 points, including five 3-pointers, to help the Jazz win for the sixth time in seven games. Gobert finished with 18 points and two blocks. Mitchell has poured in at least 26 points in six consecutive games, the best such stretch of his career.

Utah has won five straight against the Pistons and 22 of 26.

at Kings 115, Trail Blazers: De'Aaron Fox scored 16 points and made a key 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-107 on Monday night.

Fox also had nine assists, Buddy Hield scored 19 points and Marvin Bagley III added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sacramento has won three straight and four of five.

Damian Lillard scored 35 points to become the fastest player in Portland history to reach 12,000 for his career. Jusuf Nurkic had 13 points and 11 rebounds. CJ McCollum scored six points on 2-of-14 shooting.

The Trail Blazers, playing the second half of a back-to-back, have lost two straight since winning four in a row.