James Harden is not exactly lamenting the end of his impressive scoring run.
Harden on Monday had 28 points, snapping his 32-game streak with at least 30, as the Houston Rockets beat the Atlanta Hawks 119-111.
He is glad it is over, too — especially since he had no expectation of matching Wilt Chamberlain’s 65-game streak, the longest in NBA history.
Photo: Troy Taormina-USA Today
Harden’s stretch with 30 or more points ranks second.
“Yeah I am. It was cool, but I knew I wasn’t going to get to No. 1,” Harden said before walking away chuckling.
Houston overcame a scoring outburst from Hawks rookie Trae Young, who set career highs with eight three-pointers and 36 points.
Harden returned after missing Saturday’s win over Golden State with a neck injury and missed all 10 three-pointers he attempted.
“This was the first time I was able to move it since a few days,” he said. “So it kind of felt good to go out there and just move it, and run around. I hadn’t really done any movement or working out. I’ve been in bed really.”
He got to 28 points with 23.3 seconds left and had the ball on Houston’s last possession, but did not attempt a shot from half court with the game in hand.
When asked if the injury affected his shot, he said: “I don’t care. Made shots, missed shots, we won the game.”
Harden last came up short of 30 points in a Dec. 11 last year win over Portland, when he had 29. During the streak, he scored 50 or more points four times, including a career-high 61 in a win at the Knicks on Jan. 23.
“Eventually it was going to have to end one of these days,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s unbelievable. He’ll start another one.”
Chris Paul added 20 points and Eric Gordon hit four three-pointers for 16 points.
Young said that he could not appreciate his big night since the Hawks came up short.
“For me, I’ve grown up with a dad who raised me that winning is the only thing that matters,” he said. “So for me, of course you want to play well, of course you want to do well in the game and help your team, but at the end of the day I don’t feel good about it.”
Also on Monday, it was:
‧ Suns 124, Heat 121
‧ Warriors 121, Hornets 110
‧ Nets 101, Spurs 85
‧ Pistons 113, Pacers 109
‧ Trail Blazers 123, Cavaliers 110
‧ Bucks 117, Bulls 106
‧ Grizzlies 110, Lakers 105
‧ Timberwolves 112, Kings 105
‧ 76ers 111, Pelicans 110
‧ Clippers 121, Mavericks 112
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces