Sports

James Harden posts 20th 40-point game of his remarkable season as Houston beat Phoenix… and he joins Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Rick Barry

Another 40-point game for James Harden. That makes 20 of them this season.

The reigning MVP scored 44 points and the Houston Rockets beat Phoenix 118-110 on Monday night to hand the Suns their season-worst 11th straight loss.

Harden joined Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Rick Barry as the only players with 20 games of at least 40 points in the first 50 of a season.

Harden, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, extended his streak of games with at least 30 points to 27, third-longest in NBA history. The only longer streaks are 65 and 31 games, both by Chamberlain.

‘I’m just trying to keep going. Nothing can slow me down,’ Harden said. ‘Nothing can stop me. I’m trying to give that same motivation to my team-mates and it’s not about scoring, it’s about attacking the game, being aggressive with the game of basketball – defensively, offensively. That’s all I can give to them.’

Chris Paul scored 18 and Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who were without two starters.

Josh Jackson scored 25 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. 23 and Devin Booker 19 for the Suns. Deandre Ayton added 15 points and 11 boards. Booker left in the fourth quarter with a tight hamstring.

The Suns never led but stayed close through the first half before falling behind by 20 in the third quarter.

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