James Harden of the Houston Rockets plays against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on November 21, 2016 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Photo : Getty Images/Gregory Shamus)
The Houston Rockets are slowly climbing up the National Basketball Association ladder behind the regular exploits of Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden. Against the Charlotte Hornets, it was no different for the Rockets as they cruised to a 129-122 win on Tuesday night en route to their ninth straight win.
Harden once again showed why he is among the MVP frontrunners by dropping 40 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in just 37 minutes for his 11th triple double this season, The Houston Chronicle reported. Thanks to 'The Beard,' the Rockets have the second most wins in the league with 31 victories, just behind Golden State Warriors' 33 wins.
Houston has the longest winning streak right now with nine the win against the Hornets came right after the Rockets and Harden dispatched Eastern Conference powerhouse Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. Harden dropped 40 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds against the Raptors. Harden's triple double games have done wonders for his squad as the Rockets won 10 of their 11 games when their main man scores a triple double, ESPN reported.
Against the Hornets, Harden joined Russell Westbrook, Michael Jordan and Pete Maravich as the only players to have 40-point games on back-to-back nights. The 27-year-old also became the first player with multiple games of 40 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a single season since Oscar Robertson in 1964-65.
Westbrook may be doing something historical this season by averaging a triple double but according to the NBA Race to MVP Ladder, Harden remains ahead of the pack. And as long as Harden keeps doing what he does best, the Rockets have nowhere to go but up as they won 20 of their last 22 games.
The Rockets have the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat in their next four games and with the momentum they and Harden have, it is not farfetched that they end up with a 13-game winning streak after Jan. 18.
Watch the video below for the Rockets-Hornets game highlights: