Harden Scores 42 Against Trail Blazers To End MVP Debate

james harden houston rocketsEven though players such as Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Damian Lillard (Portland), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) and even Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) have recently been mentioned as strong candidates for the MVP award the truth is that no NBA star is a stronger candidate and playing at the level of Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

There are other usual suspects like LeBron James (Cleveland), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) of course, but after yesterday’s night performance against the Trail Blazers (42 points, six rebounds, and seven assists) the MVP race has been decided. It’s over, unofficially at least, unless of course Harden gets injured and misses the rest of the season.

At this point, his dominance on the courts of the NBA is such, that nothing that any of the other players do in the remainder of the season will be enough to take the award away from him.

Right now, Harden leads the league in scoring (31.2 ppg), is third in assists (8.7 apg), has made more three-pointers than any other player in the league (245) and is a lot more active on the defensive side of the court.

But more importantly this season he’s proving to be a clutch player, having signature MVP moments and being relentless on offense when his team has needed him the most.

In January, when the Rockets were dealing with a ton of injuries he responded by posting the first ever 60-point triple-double in league history.

Then from late January to early March, he proceeded to help the team win 17 straight games. This after he also was vital helping the Rockets win 14 consecutive games last year between November 16 and December 18.

Then last night, he not only proved once again that he can turn any amount of space into separation but also had another huge game. This time he was the best player on the floor of the Moda Center and led all scorers by going 5-of-7 from three-point range against a legit Trail Blazers team that was on a 13-game winning streak.

Portland has a top-10 defense, but last night they simply had no answer for Harden who helped the Rockets win their six games in a row and is quickly helping the Rockets tighten their grip on the number one overall seed.

Harden has, at this point, nothing left to do to solidify his MVP award. That race is over, but whatever signature moments he has from now on will only serve to prove he deserves to be the second unanimous MVP winner in NBA history after Curry in the 2015-16 season.

 

 

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