Harden explodes for 59 points as Rockets escape Wizards

 

 

LOS ANGELES, USA – James Harden made the winning free throw with two seconds left, capping a 59-point performance as the Houston Rockets outgunned the Washington Wizards, 159-158, on Wednesday, October 30 (Thursday, October 31, Philippine time). 

Harden shot 18-of-32 from the field, made all but one of his 18 free throws, and drained 6 three-pointers as the Rockets overcame a 46-point night from Bradley Beal. 

"I work hard every single day. I fall in love with it, mastering the game," Harden said. "You can't expect to be great if you don't put the work in.  

"You might be doing everything right and things don't always work out your way. You got to keep pushing." 

The teams combined to score 317 points, the most ever in an NBA game which was decided by a single point. It was just the third game in the past 25 years in which each team scored at least 150 points. 

The previous record for combined points in a game decided by just a single point was 311 between the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers in 1984. 

Russell Westbrook overcame a slow start to finish with his second triple-double of the season with 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Clint Capela tallied 21 for the Rockets, who improved to 3-1 on the season. 

Whatever it takes

Beal tied the contest, 158-158, with 8 seconds remaining by making his free throws, but the Wizards couldn't tack on any more and dropped to 1-3 on the season.

"I didn't know we were going to have to score about 160 points to win, but whatever it takes it took," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. 

Rui Hachimura, the highest drafted Japanese-born player in NBA history, scored 23 points and Davis Bertans had 21.  

Japan's ambassador to the United States, Shinsuke Sugiyama, attended the game to watch Hachimura, who was selected ninth overall by the Wizards in the 2019 entry draft. 

This season marks a reunion of sorts for Westbrook and Harden. They spent 3 seasons together with Oklahoma City until Harden left in 2012 to join the Rockets. – Rappler.com