On Thursday night the Houston Rockets guard reassured everyone that last season’s MVP is in the run to retain that award. In doing so he made history by becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in regular season 50-point triple doubles. Harden now leads the way ahead of elite company because just six players in NBA history have managed to achieve this. The man known as The Beard has had to up his game in recent weeks as the Rockets who were conference leaders last season have been struggling for form and are in danger of not making the playoffs.

Harden vs Lakers

James Harden played one of the best games of his career on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, having scored 50 points and picking up 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Thus, creating history by surpassing his former teammate of the Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook. Only five other players besides Harden have achieved a 50-point triple double and it’s the likes of Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Richie Guerin and Westbrook. This shows you the gravity of this achievement because that list consists of only legends of the NBA.

Harden also became only the second person after Chamberlain to score a 50-point triple double against the Lakers. Furthermore, he still maintains the record as the only man in NBA history to achieve a 60-point triple double. It seemed to be a night of record breaking, Harden managed to break many of his own records as well such as 26 field goal attempts which is the fewest in a 50-point triple double. Harden scored 18 free throws which tied Baylor for the most in a 50-point triple double.

Harden’s Houston struggling

Despite all his efforts this season the Houston Rockets have been struggling. Harden has still been averaging nearly the same points as last season, but this sadly has not been enough for the overall team performance. After his great performance Harden said, “We look at these standings and we’re in the 14th spot and it’s kind of depressing, but we gotta figure it out. We continue to fight our way through it. We’ve had injuries, a lot of new players, so we are just trying to figure it out. These last two games we’re playing pretty well.”

Despite their average start this season, Harden has remained optimistic and confident in his teammates. Fans of the player and team may feel now is the right time to show their faith by having a bet on them winning the next game and/or making the playoffs. The Rockets are the reigning conference finalists, but their current record does not show that; instead their record shows 13-14 which has left them 14 in the table.

The team’s biggest issue appears to be that they have not been able to close out games in the fourth quarter. This proved evident in their game against the Mavericks when rookie Luka Doncic went on a 11-0 run to give the Mavericks the win.

James Harden is picking up his game and seems to be extremely motivated to help the Rockets escape from their slump this season. No one should right the Rockets guard off when it comes to retaining his MVP award after historical performances like these. He has the ability to continuously break records and become a future legend of the NBA.