In rare air: James Harden is taking the NBA by storm

By Randy McIlvoy - Sports Director
2018 Getty Images

James Harden plays the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 13, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

HOUSTON - Forty-three games into the NBA season, Rockets superstar James Harden is proving to be unstoppable yet again.

On Monday night, he poured in 57 points -- three shy of his career high.

“I don’t know if it was emotional. It was crunch time. We have three starters out,” Harden said after the game. “So our guys have to pick up the slack so there’s no excuse.”

Harden’s surge over the course of the past month is now building talk of another MVP award. Right now, he’s the front-runner.

Local broadcaster Matt Thomas is one of the radio voices of the Rockets. On his afternoon show on SportsTalk 790, he and his listeners were clear on where Harden stands in the race for a second straight MVP award.

“He proved it last night that sometimes one man can beat an entire team,” Thomas told his 790 listeners. “And that’s what MVPs tend to do.”

Averaging 34.8 points per game, Harden is now on pace for the 11th-highest scoring average in NBA history. If he reaches 35 points a game, Harden would be only the fifth to get there, with the last being his childhood idol Kobe Bryant 13 years ago.

On Tuesday, Harden gave Kobe a shoutout on Instagram.

“You can name a few other people that should be in the conversation but realistically though, it’s coming back,” Harden said recently of the MVP award.

Harden and the Rockets return to action Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets.

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