James Harden recorded his 30th successive 30-point game as he outduelled Luka Doncic in the Houston Rockets win over the Dallas Mavericks.
MVP favourite Harden outscored Slovenian rookie sensation Doncic 31 to 21 as the Rockets pulled away to a 120-104 win, their seventh victory in their past 10 games.
Harden shot 9-of-23, including 6-of-17 from three-point range, added eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals and shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Doncic shot 7-of-17 and made two of his nine three-point attempts. He narrowly missed a triple-double finishing the game with 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Harden opened his account two minutes into the game, stealing the ball before driving hard into the lane, absorbing contact from two Mavs defenders before finishing at the hoop. He made two vital three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to quell a potential Dallas rally before adding two free throws and another three-pointer with 52.9 seconds left to reach 31 points and extend his streak to 30 games, the third-longest in NBA history.
Monday night’s scores
- Portland Trail Blazers 111-120 Oklahoma City Thunder
- Dallas Mavericks 104-120 Houston Rockets
- Milwaukee Bucks 112-99 Chicago Bulls
- Brooklyn Nets 125-127 Toronto Raptors
- New York Knicks 104-107 Cleveland Cavaliers
- Miami Heat 87-103 Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers 120-130 Minnesota Timberwolves
- Charlotte Hornets 90-99 Indiana Pacers
- Washington Wizards 112-121 Detroit Pistons
Not to be outdone, Doncic produced several highlight plays of his own. In the first quarter, he hit a step-back three – Harden’s trademark shot – over the Rockets star. He blew by PJ Tucker and Chirs Paul to score at the rim before floating a delightful alley-oop pass to Dwight Powell who slammed the ball home.
Click the video at the top of the page to watch Harden and Doncic’s highlight plays.