It’s not even a surprise anymore. It’s come to be expected, such is the level of skill associated with James Harden, who put up 61 points on Friday night in a 111-105 win over rivals San Antonio. Coming off the back of 57 points in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, this was among his very best performances given that the Spurs had been on a major roll coming into the game. Gregg Popovich’s team had won nine of their last ten games, and still yet they sit in eighth in the Western Conference after back-to-back losses.
This one, though, could have, would have been different if not for the otherworldly Harden. He hit nine three-pointers and had 27 points in the first quarter alone, but the Spurs kept coming back. And they led by six with four minutes left. That’s when Harden really went to work, leading a 13-2 run by nailing three treys is row. To sum it up, his coach, Mike D’Antoni, was asked how you stop him. He simply stated “I can sit him on the bench. That’s about it.” Period. End of statement.