HOUSTON – Houston Rockets guard James Harden saw his streak of scoring at least 30 points in a game coming to an end at 32 outings on Monday, when he finished with 28 points in his team's 119-111 victory over the Atlanta Hawks
Harden seemed almost relieved
"It was cool," he said. 19659008]
Harden's 32-game run of performances of 30 points or more marked the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain's 65-game tear from 1
Harden returned to action against the Hawks after missing Saturday's win over Golden State with a neck injury
The guard said the matchup against Atlanta marked the first time that he was able to move his neck, but he did not use the injury as an excuse for his 7-of-21 shooting performance, in who missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts.
"It's been a couple of days, so it's really good to go out there and just move it and run around," Harden said. "I've been in bed, really."
The win over the Hawks marked the fourth time that Harden has finished 0-for-10 or worse than 3- (19459021) Stephen Curry twice, Antoine Walker twice)
Harden reached 28 points on a floating runner with 23.3 seconds left to play, and it appeared that he could pull off a feat similar to what he did against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 11, when he knocked down and 3-pointer in the final minute to keep his streak alive
Harden took possession of the ball with 10.6 seconds remaining with a raucous crowd at the Toyota Center screaming for him to score. He sped up the court, and it appeared that he would try to put up one last shot.
Coach Rockets Mike D'Antoni was asked if Harden's decision to not lift up another shot in the waning moments showed class, and the coach laughed.
"You guys probably would have killed him on Twitter, right?" D'Antoni said, laughing. "
With all the attention focused on Harden's streak of 30-point games, Atlanta Rookie Trae Young racked up 36 points, shooting 8-of-12 from 3-point range to become the first rookie to outscore the Rockets guard since Karl-Anthony Towns on Mar. 18, 2016. Towns produced 32 points to Harden's 29 in that outing, and rookies have matched up against Harden on 157 occasions since. Young was the seventh newcomer to outscore Harden in a game since he joined the Rockets
"I do not care." We won, "said Harden. "Made shots, missed shots, we won the game, that was great, but I was just doing it because that's what we had to do to keep our heads above water. at the stat line, and we had multiple guys in double figures [six players]which is great to see. "
Harden last came up short of 30 points in a Dec. 11 win over Portland, in which he scored 29. During the streak, Harden scored 50 points on four occasions, including a career-high 61 in a win at the Knicks on Jan. 23.
The Rockets has 6-7 this season when Harden plays and does not score 30 (26-16 when he scores 30)
At the half, Harden was 2-of-10 for 13 points.
Harden's 28 points against the Hawks were tied for his fifth-most total in a win this season.
"He's not going to stop," forward P.J. Tucker said. "Just because he did not score 30 [tonight]he's still going to score a lot of points next game and the game after that, so [we] got the win, that's all."