REUTERS (FIELD LEVEL MEDIA):
Houston superstar James Harden continued his historic streak Wednesday night by scoring a career-high and franchise-record 61 points, but it was Eric Gordon who drained the biggest shot, a 3-pointer with nine seconds left that gave the Rockets the lead for good in a wild 114-110 win over the host New York Knicks.
Harden has scored at least 30 points in 21 consecutive games, the fourth-longest such streak in NBA history (behind only three authored by Wilt Chamberlain). “Wilt the Stilt” scored 30 points in 25 straight games during the 1960-61 season, in 31 straight games spanning the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons and in 65 straight games during the 1961-62 season.
The 61 points are the most by a player in an NBA game this season — Kemba Walker scored 60 points for the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 17 — and tied for the most scored by a Knicks opponent at Madison Square Garden. Kobe Bryant scored 61 points for the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 2, 2009.
There was little suspense regarding Harden’s streak Wednesday as he scored 19 points in the first quarter, finished the first half with 36 points and ended the third quarter with 49 points. He missed six consecutive shots before reaching 50 points with a jumper with 4:22 left.