James Harden has been on a historic scoring tear since last season, and his hard work helped him achieve another milestone Saturday night.
Harden scored 47 points in the Houston Rockets’ 139-125 win against the Phoenix Suns. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Harden now has the fourth-most 40-point games in NBA history (89), passing Elgin Baylor on the list. Harden’s outing marked the 12th time this season he scored at least 40 points.
Wilt Chamberlain has the most 40-point games ever with 271, and Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant rank second and third, respectively.
The NBA’s 2018 MVP, Harden has won the past two scoring titles. He’s on pace to win a third this season, as he’s scoring a career-high 38.8 points per game. Chamberlain holds the two highest averages for a scoring champion. He scored 50.4 points a game in the 1961-62 season, and he averaged 44.8 points in the 1962-63 season.
If Harden can maintain his scoring output, he’ll have a good chance at achieving the third-highest scoring average, assuming he wins this season’s scoring title.