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Rockets James Harden named Western Conference player of month for January

James Harden directs his teammates in the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2019 in New York City.
James Harden directs his teammates in the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2019 in New York City. (2019 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – As Houston Rockets guard James Harden continues to pile up impressive statistics, he continues to add the awards to go with them.

Harden was named NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for January after averaging 43.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.07 steals and 1.21 blocks over 14 games in January.

It is the second straight month he has received the honor and the seventh time in his career, all coming as a Rocket.  That is the most by any player in franchise history.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 43.6 points per game marked the seventh-highest scoring average in a single month in NBA history with a minimum of 10 games played.  Wilt Chamberlain holds each of the top six spots.

Harden totaled 610 points, 122 rebounds and 106 assists for the month and dating back to 1972-73, Michael Jordan (March 1987) was the only other player to have scored 600-plus points in a single month.  

Harden joined Chamberlain (November 1961) as the only players to have scored at least 600 points in a single month while playing fewer than 15 games.

Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, has scored 30-plus points in each of the past 24 games, which is the fourth-longest streak in NBA history. Chamberlain holds the top three streaks of 65, 31 and 25 games.  Harden has also led the Rockets and their opponent in scoring in each of those 24 games, which is the second-longest streak in NBA history, according to ESPN. Chamberlain had a 40-game streak.

Harden is averaging 40.2 points over the past 28 games. According to Elias, that is the third-longest stretch of averaging 40-plus points in NBA history. Only Chamberlain (515) and Elgin Baylor (33) did so over a longer span.

Harden scored a total of 261 points over a five-game span from Jan. 14 through Jan. 23. According to Elias, that was the second-highest five-game total over the past 50 seasons, trailing 268 points by Bryant in March 2007. Harden averaged 52.2 points over those five games, tying for the second-longest stretch of averaging 50-plus points in NBA history.  Chamberlain did so over a span of 116 games.

For the season, Harden is averaging 36.3 points, 8.1 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.09 steals.  He is on pace to become the first player to have averaged at least 35.0 ppg and 8.0 apg in a single season.  Jordan (1988-89) is the only player to have averaged at least 30.0 ppg, 8.0 apg, 5.0 rpg and 2.00 spg in a single season. Dating back to 1964-65, Jordan (37.1 ppg in 1986-97) is the only player to have averaged at least 36.0 ppg in a single season.

Harden was also voted as a starter for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game  It is the third straight year that he has been named a starter. Harden has been named an All-Star in each of his seven seasons as a Rocket.