James Harden said his 'attack mindset' allowed him to overcome a slow start to score 42 points in the Houston Rockets' 117-94 win over the Chicago Bulls.
For Harden, a missed shot simply means the odds of him making the next one improve.
That attitude served the All-Star guard well on Saturday night as he rebounded from a slow start to put up big numbers again.
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Harden finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Houston Rockets pulled away in the second half and beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94.
After going 2-of-7 (including 1-of-5 on three-pointers) in the first quarter, he went 10-for-20 the rest of the game, including 8-for-14 on threes.
"That's the confidence I have," he said. "That's the confidence that I've built off of the work I put in."
Harden's performance resulted in his 32nd 40-point game since the start of the 2018-19 season. It was the 81st 40-point game of his career.
Asked about his scoring feats on the court after the game, he said: "It's a mindset. Every game it's a mindset. It doesn't come off every game. It's an 'attack' mindset and being aggressive."
"I feel like a broken record sometimes, but he's a master of getting what he wants," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said of Harden. "I think sometimes he might get bored in the game and tries different stuff."
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The Rockets led 50-49 at half-time but broke the game open with a 36-18 third quarter. Harden said Houston's much-maligned was key as they seized control of the game.
"Defensively, we got after it," he said. "I think we were pretty solid the entire game. In the first half, we gave them too many opportunities off turnovers so we tried to cut those down and get shots up. We did that. Before the last three games, we ranked close to last in defense. We're much better than that and it's now showing."
Harden's backcourt partner Russell Westbrook, who contributed 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting, echoed those sentiments.
"If you're gonna win in this league, you've got to defend," he said. "There are no nights off. You've got to defend every single night against some tough teams."
Click the video at the top of the page to watch Harden's highlights from Houston's win in Chicago.