James Harden extends 30-point streak to 30 games despite shoulder

Houston Rockets guard James Harden overcame a balky shoulder to extend his streak of scoring at least 30 points to 30 games on Monday night in a 120-104 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Harden, who had only 11 points at the half, hit a 3-pointer with 52.9 seconds left and the Rockets leading by 14. He finished with 31 points on 9-for-23 shooting in 36 minutes.

Harden said his shoulder was bothersome but that he was looking forward to resting it during this week’s All-Star break.

“It’s kinda been the same way,” Harden said. “It’s gonna be like that. We have one more game before the break. … So, hopefully I’ll rest it and get rehab, treatment, and get it stronger.”

It was the fourth time Harden has scored 10 points in the last three minutes of regulation, the most in the NBA this season. Each has happened since Jan. 19. The last time Harden didn’t score at least 30 was Dec. 11 vs. the Trail Blazers, when he had 29.

“I couldn’t get the lift I usually get for my shot,” Harden said. “Just happy we won the game.”

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said he thought the streak was over.

“To be honest with you, two minutes to go in the half, he’s got 20 points,” D’Antoni said. “I go, ‘Start another one.’ I didn’t think — there’s no way. But he’s amazing. I think the shoulder was bothering him. He did not have a great game.”

Harden is now one 30-point game away from tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-longest 30-point streak in NBA history. He also is 36 games away from tying Chamberlain for the longest such streak.

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