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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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James Harden Named Western Conference Player of the Week

Posted: January 21, 2019 -- 2:30 p.m. CST

Today, the NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, January 14 through Sunday, January 20 (Week 14). It is Harden’s third Player of the Week award of the season and the 21st of his career, all coming as a Rocket.

The Rockets were 2-1 for the week, with Harden averaging 54.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.33 steals while shooting 48.5% from the floor. Harden scored 163 points for the week, which was the third-highest three-game total over the past 50 seasons according to ESPN.

Harden opened the week by scoring 57 points vs. Memphis on Monday, followed by 58 against Brooklyn on Wednesday. He joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to have scored 55-plus points in consecutive games in NBA history. On Saturday, Harden scored 48 points to help the Rockets overcome a 21-point deficit in an overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

For the week, Harden’s scoring and assists accounted for an average of 67.0 points. He has scored or assisted for at least 50 points in an NBA record 19 straight games according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Harden has scored 30-plus points in each of the past 19 games, which is the fifth-longest streak in NBA history. The top four streaks all belong to Chamberlain and came prior to the 1964-65 season. Harden recorded a game-high in scoring in each of those 19 games, marking the third-longest single season streak in NBA history according to ESPN.

Over the past 22 games, Harden is averaging 40.3 points. According to Elias, that is tied for the fourth-longest stretch of averaging 40-plus points in NBA history. Harden has scored 40-plus points in 10 of the past 13 games and 16 times overall this season. That is the highest total through a player’s first 42 games played in a season since Michael Jordan did so 22 times in 1986-87.

Harden is averaging 35.7 points overall this season. Only five players have averaged at least 35.0 points in a single season, with the last being Kobe Bryant with 35.4 ppg in 2005-06.

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