Not everything went smoothly for Harden, though, as he turned it over 11 times in the first half, the most turnovers in a half by any player over the last 20 seasons according to ESPN Stats & Information. The only other player to even have 10 in a half over the last 20 seasons was Gilbert Arenas on Nov. 10, 2009 in the second half against the Heat.
Harden became the first player this season with a points-rebounds-turnovers “triple-double” and he did it by halftime. It was done five times in a full game last season.
Saturday marked Harden’s sixth career game with 30 or more points and 10 or more turnovers, twice as many as any other player in NBA history.
Harden, who had 12 rebounds and eight assists, is the 45th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points and the seventh-youngest. He entered the game 10 points away and reached the milestone in fitting fashion, on a step-back 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.
The public address announcer simply said 20,000 after Harden hit the shot, before a video was played during the next timeout to mark the occasion. The video showed him making his first points in the NBA while with the Thunder, then making a free throw that gave him 10,000 points and a replay of the 3 that got him to 20,000.
Already without Clint Capela because of a bruised heel, the Rockets lost fellow starter PJ Tucker early in the first quarter when he fell hard on his right shoulder. But Houston was just fine without them thanks to another big game from Harden and a 30-point, six-rebound and 10-assist performance by Russell Westbrook.
Harden and Westbrook became the first pair of Rockets teammates to each have 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in the same game since Hakeem Olajuwon and Robert Horry on April 14, 1994.
Houston led by double figures for most of the game and used a huge run in the third quarter to put the game out of reach and bounce back after a lopsided loss to Oklahoma City on Thursday night.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Source : ESPN