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James Harden's incredible scoring season in numbers

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Stuart Hodge - @HodgeytheHack

Wednesday 17 April 2019 10:43, UK

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates after the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 19, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Image: James Harden celebrates after beating the Los Angeles Lakers at the Toyota Center

Even some of the NBA's best defenders would tell you that James Harden is one of the toughest covers in the league, if not the toughest.

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His off-the-charts scoring is the reason the Houston Rockets star is in the running to win the NBA's Most Valuable Player award for a second consecutive season.

The 29-year-old is a transcendent force offensively and even if you break it down in detail, the volume of contribution and production from Harden really is staggering.

James Harden lofts a floater against the Atlanta Hawks 4:11
Watch Harden's best clutch fourth-quarter plays this season

Whether it be the buckets, the streaks, the record-breaking or any multitude of other factors, it is a seriously impressive body of work from the seven-time All-Star.

Here we break down the impact the Rockets guard is having and some of the key numbers he is putting up...

Points, points, points

James Harden in numbers

Averaging 36.1 points per game - Last season, Harden won the MVP and led the league in scoring with 30.4 points per game. He's upped that average by nearly six points and is currently in line to have the seventh best scoring season of all time in the NBA, behind five of Wilt Chamberlain's campaigns (in a completely different era of the sport) and Michael Jordan's best scoring season in 1986/87.

Nine 50-plus point games this season - Harden is already fourth all-time in the category of scoring 50 or more points in a game with 18 total. Only Kobe Bryant, Jordan and Chamberlain sit in front of him and even more strikingly, half of those games have come from him this season.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 28 :  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts after the game against the Miami Heat on February 28, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) 7:39
We look back at seven of Harden's nine 50-point games this season

Other than two of Wilt's campaigns in the early 1960s, the next fattest mark belongs to Kobe Bryant who notched 10 such games in 2006/07. Harden has one more chance to equal that with a 50-plus outing against his former team the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Rockets final regular season game.

Almost more points than minutes - The Beard scored 2818 total points in 2867 minutes played. Only Wilt has ever averaged more than a point for every minute played over a season.

James Harden rises to score during the Rockets' win over Denver
Image: Harden rises to score during the Rockets' win over Denver

And a couple more things... Harden had six games with at least 57 points this season, the most of any player in NBA history other than Chamberlain. He also had 28 games with 40-or-more points during the current campaign - incredible production.

Voluminous shooting

James Harden in numbers

Field goals - Harden leads the league in the number of field goals attempted and number of field goals made (843/1909).

Three-pointers - Again the Rockets star leads the league in both pertinent categories from beyond the arc, with 1,028 three-pointers attempted and 378 made.

That number of makes already has him second on the all-time list for a single season, behind only Steph Curry's 402 in his second MVP campaign in 2015/16.

James Harden leads scoring again for the Rockets
Image: Harden dribbles the ball

Free throws - Harden is the outright league leader across the bases in free throws, averaging 9.7 foul shots made per game. In total, he made 754 free throws of 858 attempted.

Perhaps even more incredibly, Harden drew more than 150 fouls more than MVP rival Giannis Antetokounmpo and msde 87.9 per cent of his free throws.

Wednesday night's playoff games

  • Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics - Game 2, 12am
  • Detroit Pistons @ Milwaukee Bucks - Game 2, 1am
  • Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets - Game 2, 2:30am, live on Sky Sports Arena

Streaks and other notable records

James Harden in numbers

Scored at least 30 points against all 29 NBA teams in a single season - Earlier this month, Harden became the first player to drop at least 30 points against all 29 teams since the league swelled to its current size. He tallied 31 points in the Rockets' 121-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks, who were the final team remaining on the list.

James Harden in action against the Atlanta Hawks 1:58
Harden becomes the first player in NBA history to score 30+ points against all 29 opponents in a single season as he led the Houston Rockets to victory over the Atlanta Hawks

32-game streak of 30-plus point performances - Harden has a total of 56 30-plus points games overall this season, and that includes a 32-game streak of them which is the second longest in NBA history.

Two games of 60+ points - Having managed to score 61 points on both the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and at home against the San Antonio Spurs, The Beard became the fourth player in league history, alongside Jordan, Bryant and Chamberlain to have multiple 60-plus point games in a single season.

0:45
Harden equals his career-best haul of 61 points and explains how he did it

33 double-doubles and seven triple-doubles - And just to finish off with, Harden is not just an amazing scorer. His record of double-doubles and triple-doubles this season shows he also has a superb all-round game.

He finished in the top 20 for double-doubles for the season and is joint fifth (with Luka Doncic) for the season in triple-doubles for the campaign. His 42 career triple-doubles is the ninth-most of all time in the NBA.

All stats listed sourced from basketball-reference.com and true as of April 11, 2019.

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