James Harden continued his prolific scoring with 57 points but his efforts were in vain as the Houston Rockets fell to a 126-125 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Harden connected on 18 of his 39 shots, including nine of his 17 three-point attempts, and added eight assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks but could not prevent the in-form Rockets from falling to their second defeat in their past 14 games.
MVP-frontrunner Harden scored 18 points in the fourth quarter as Houston outscored their opponents 37-18 for force overtime, After former Rockets forward Chandler Parsons drilled a pair of threes to put the Grizzlies in control in the extra session, Harden nearly resurrected Houston again, giving the Rockets their first lead with a block and transition lay-up with 3:24 remaining. He scored eight points during a 28-second stretch in overtime. But Harden’s heroics were not enough as the Grizzlies held on for a 126-125 victory
Harden’s 57-point haul improved his scoring average to 36.1 points per game. If he maintains that output over the Rockets’ remaining 11 games, he will post the seventh-best single season scoring average in NBA history. Only Wilt Chamberlain (five times) and Michael Jordan have recorded more prolific single scoring seasons.