• Brian L. Barefield


James Harden looks to stay red-hot against the New Orleans Pelicans

There are plenty of things I could say about Rockets SG James Harden this year, but you have heard them all. Everything from the “Streak” to his incredible personal feat of bringing Houston from the bottom of the Western Conference (14th) back in December to 3rd as you read this article. Yet I would like to just focus on the last three games in which he has only scored 31, 57, and 61points. For those keeping score at home that is a 49.6 points per game average.

“The only person that could probably guard him is the coaches and referees. That’s it. Nobody can stop him. He’s just one of those types of players that he’s able to get a shot off at any time,” said Rockets forward Gerald Green who was still in awe after being a firsthand witness to the 61 points he put up against the San Antonio Spurs.

Harden finished that game by going 19 of 34 from the field while making 9 of his 13 3-point attempts. He now has two 57-point games, two 58-point games, and two 61-point games this season alone. What must not get lost in translation is that he ended the Grizzles game by scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter and then turned right back around two days later and scored 27 in the first quarter against the Spurs. Most players would ask for a “Load Management” game or two (that’s new NBA lingo for rest days), but not Harden who will suit up against the New Orleans Pelicans today as the Rockets are in a dog fight to keep that third seed in the West from the Portland Trailblazers.

“I am a hooper. I love to hoop. I know hooping isn’t gonna be forever, so I love to get out there and compete. The best days are when your legs are a little tired and your shot isn’t falling. Those are the best days because you gotta figure out a way to get through it,” said Harden to the NBATV hosts after the game on Friday.

The Rockets look to avenge an earlier season loss to them in a game where the Pelicans were without a number of players including their All-Star center, Anthony Davis. Houston will need to slow down Julius Randle, who has been putting up an average of 25 points per game in the month of March to have a chance to win. Tip-Off is at 6pm cst.

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