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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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Rockets James Harden and Russell Westbrook Named to All-NBA Teams
Posted: September 16, 2020 -- 3:05 p.m. CT
Wednesday afternoon, the NBA announced the All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams. Houston Rockets guard James Harden was named All-NBA First Team while Russell Westbrook earned Third Team honors. The last time the Rockets had multiple All-NBA performers in a single season was in 2013-14. The awards were voted on by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and were based upon statistics accumulated prior to the NBA's stoppage of the regular season on March 11.
Harden and Westbrook became the first set of teammates to have averaged at least 27.0 points and 7.0 assists in a single season in NBA history. Over the past seven seasons, they join LeBron James as the only players to have averaged at least 25.0 ppg, 8.0 apg and 6.0 rpg.
Harden is the only player to be named All-NBA First Team in each of the past four seasons. He has earned All-NBA recognition in seven of his eight seasons as a Rocket. Hakeem Olajuwon (12) is the only other Rocket with more than five All-NBA selections.
This season, Harden averaged 34.3 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.6 rebounds marking his second straight season averaging at least 34.0 ppg, 7.0 apg and 6.0 rpg. No other player in NBA history has averaged those numbers in a single season.
Harden led the league in scoring for the third straight season and became the first player to have averaged at least 30.0 ppg in three consecutive seasons since Michael Jordan did so in seven straight from 1986-87 through 1992-93. Harden also ranked fifth in the NBA in steals (1.84 spg) and tied for seventh in assists (7.5 apg).
Since Harden joined the Rockets in 2012-13, Houston has posted the third-highest winning percentage of any team (.639) and has made the playoffs in a franchise-best eight straight seasons. Over that span, Harden has scored 2,059 more points than any other player in the league, while ranking first in steals, second in 3-pointers made, and third in assists.
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Westbrook picks up his sixth straight All-NBA selection and his ninth overall. He is one of 31 players in NBA history to have been named All-NBA at least nine times.
In his first season with Houston, Westbrook averaged 27.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, and 7.0 apg. He joins LeBron James and Oscar Robertson (both six times) as the only players to have averaged at least 27.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, and 7.0 apg in at least three seasons.
Westbrook recorded his first triple-double as a Rocket in the second game of the season, moving him past Magic Johnson for the second-most in NBA history. Since the start of 2015-16, Westbrook has averaged 26.1 ppg, 9.9 apg and 9.6 rpg.
Over his final 34 games played in 2019-20, Westbrook averaged 30.0 ppg on 50.2% shooting. He had the NBA's longest streak of scoring 20-plus points this season with a career-best 36-game span from December 7 through August 2.
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