54 by James Harden for Houston Rockets Celebrates Historic Backcourt Dueling


WASHINGTON – On one side, you had James Harden, the goaltender of the Houston Rockets, who was named the NBA's most valuable player last season, behind his deadly 3-point shooting combination. an incredible ability to get to the rim.

On the other hand, you had the Washington Wizards duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, who had already winced in previous years while they boasted of being the best back of the NBA.

The meeting of these three people Monday night – with the Rockets guard Eric Gordon, taking the place of the wounded Chris Paul – proved to be historic.

Harden scored 54 points and Gordon added 36 highs of the season for both players. This total of 90 points is the second highest number of registered starting points.

Despite this explosion of points, it's Washington that has escaped with a 135-131 overtime win behind a season-high 36 points for Wall and a tie for the record-breaking 32 for Beal .

With a total of 68 points for Wall and Beal, the two backcourts combined to score 158 points, the largest number in NBA history by the starting backcourts of both teams.

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"You've seen a lot of top players play at a high level," said Washington coach Scott Brooks. "The players have all had great games."

He broke the previous record of 140 points scored by the Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors backcourts on March 4, 2016. Damian Lillard of Portland had 50 points in that competition, to go with the loss of CJ McCollum 117- 115 to the Raptors, who got 38 from DeMar DeRozan and 28 from Kyle Lowry.

The backcourts of Houston and Washington scored with great efficiency – Harden and Gordon had a combined total of 52.7%, while Wall and Beal shot 60.9% – in a shootout, to the delight of fans.

The wizards, during most of the game, could not do anything to stop Harden, who had been a problem for a long time (7 of 15 3-pointers) and attacked the rim (which earned him 13 of his 15 free throws on the line. free throws.).

Harden scored 31 points after half-time and had 13 assists.

"I tried to be aggressive with Chris," Harden said. "At the same time, I tried to get the guys involved and put them in position to score."

In both consecutive starts without Paul, Gordon had his two best games of the season. His 36 points in 43 minutes, a peak in the season, went to hit 12 of 23 field shots, including eight to 3 points.

Harden and Gordon were scored Monday by the Los Angeles Lakers duo of Kobe Bryant and Smush Parker in a match played Jan. 22, 2006. Parker had 13 points that night against the Raptors. Bryant carried the heavy load, scoring a career-high 81.

On Monday, Harden also recorded 11 turnovers, three of his substitutes in overtime, while the Rockets had scored just six points and appeared to run out of gas by losing their third straight.

But Houston would never have been in the match without the Harden explosion.

"I'm studying James, so I have to respect his step back," said Beal, who defended Harden a good part of the night. "When I'm in a tête-à-tête, I know it's what he wants – it's either that, or he wants a mistake." It's quite amusing [playing against him] because it challenges me. "

Brooks could only enjoy the show presented by Harden.

"We tried everything on Harden," said Brooks. "We absolutely tried to take it out of his hands early, to do it late, keep our hands in his shooting pocket, we tried the switch, we tried the show, he played at a high, high, high, and its 3 steps back [were on]. "

Harden now has three 50-point games in which his team has lost in the past two seasons. The total number of games lost by the rest of the NBA teams with markers of 50 points in the same period: two.


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