James Harden scored 60 points to reach the mark for the fourth time in his career, as the Houston Rockets steamrolled the visiting Atlanta Hawks 158-111 on Saturday night.
Harden made 16 of 24 field-goal attempts — the fewest ever in a 60-point game — including 8 of 14 from 3-point range, and connected on 20 of 23 free-throw attempts. He played just 31 minutes due to the one-sided contest and fell one point shy of his career high of 61, accomplished twice. Harden’s fourth 60-point outing ties for third in NBA history with Michael Jordan. Only Wilt Chamberlain (32) and Kobe Bryant (six) have more.
“That’s a great list right there. Those guys are something that I’m trying to get to,” Harden said in a postgame television interview. “Hopefully when it is all said and done, I can be mentioned in that group forever.”
Harden, who also had eight assists, became the fourth player to score 50 or more points on 20 occasions, trailing Chamberlain (118), Jordan (31) and Bryant (25).
Kings 100 – Nuggets 97 (OT)
Harrison Barnes scored four of his game-high 30 points in succession to put Sacramento in front in overtime, and Buddy Hield hit two late free throws to help the hosts, after a furious fourth-quarter rally, earn a victory over Denver.
Denver, which led by 14 points with 7:21 remaining in regulation, took one final lead on a 3-pointer by Gary Harris in the second minute of the extra session.
But the Nuggets, losing for the first time after six straight victories, didn’t score again until Harris dropped in two free throws with 14.9 seconds remaining following two free throws and a short-range hoop by Barnes that helped put the Kings on top. Hield’s clinching foul shots came with 9.5 seconds left.
Bucks 137 – Hornets 96
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points in just 20 minutes of action, leading nine Milwaukee players in double figures in the team’s 11th straight win, a rout over visiting Charlotte.
The Bucks never trailed, building a double-digit lead less than seven minutes into the first quarter. The Hornets trimmed the deficit to three early in the second quarter, paced by the jump-shooting of guards Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham, but got no closer.
The Bucks quickly pushed the gap to 23 points three minutes out of halftime. Wesley Matthews hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the period, part of his 3-for-6 shooting from deep and 14 points. Robin Lopez knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. The Bucks hit 20 of 44 (45.5 percent) from long range as a team.
76ers 119 – Pacers 116
Joel Embiid had 32 points and 11 rebounds while hitting all 15 of his free throws to lift host Philadelphia past Indiana.
It was Embiid’s 12th double-double as the Sixers improved to 9-0 at home. They also won their third in a row overall. Tobias Harris scored 22 points, Al Horford added 15 and Ben Simmons (7-for-7 from the free-throw line) had 15 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and four steals.
T.J. Warren led the Pacers with 29 points, while Malcolm Brogdon added 28. Jeremy Lamb scored 15 points, and Domantas Sabonis had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.