James Harden did everything he could to help the Houston Rockets to a win on Saturday night against the Charlotte Hornets.
With fellow MVP Russell Westbrook sitting out Saturday night’s game in Charlotte to rest, Harden played 45 minutes and certainly filled up the stat sheet. Unfortunately, The Beard couldn’t carry the Rockets to victory as Houston suffered their third straight loss, 108-99.
What Harden did do was record his 46th career triple-double, his fourth this season. Normally, that’s a good thing and usually leads to victories. In another unfortunate turn of events for Harden and the Rockets, he also recorded the wrong kind of quadruple-double, the rarest of games in which a player reaches double-digits in four categories. It was just the wrong category.
James Harden notches quadruple-double and gets roasted by a Hornets broadcaster
If one were to just glance at the box score, it would look like James Harden had a great game. He scored 30 points, dished out 14 assists, and pulled down 10 rebounds. But Harden certainly didn’t have the best shooting night. He was just 8-for-22 (36.4%) from the floor and a dismal 2-for-11 (18.2%) from the three-point line. He also had 10 of Houston’s 21 turnovers, giving him the wrong kind of quadruple-double.
Sitting at nine turnovers with just over four minutes left in the game, with the Rockets trailing by 10, Harden brought the ball up the court, faked a drive, and then attempted a pass into the paint. The pass was immediately snatched up by the Charlotte defense and Hornets broadcaster Eric Collins went crazy.
If just tuning in, one would’ve thought that Charlotte just won the NBA Championship. That’s obviously not the case. While Charlotte has had a good week, the Hornets are still just 22-41.
This wasn’t the first time James Harden has put up this kind of quadruple-double
Saturday night wasn’t the first time that James Harden has recorded the wrong type of quadruple-double. Fortunately, the other two occasions didn’t cost the Houston Rockets a win.
The first instance came on January 8, 2017, in a 129-122 road win over the Toronto Raptors. Harden shot much better than he did on Saturday night, going 13-for-26 from the floor, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc, for a team-high 40 points. Harden added 11 assists, 10 rebounds, and 10 turnovers.
Just a few months later on April 9, in the third-to-last game of the season, Harden scored 35 points, handed out 15 assists, pulled down 11 boards, and also had 10 turnovers in a 135-128 win over the Sacramento Kings.
The turnovers actually shouldn’t come as a shock to NBA fans. James Harden has averaged more than four turnovers per game since the 2014-2015 season and is currently second in the NBA with 4.5 per game, trailing only Atlanta’s Trae Young.
This is the wrong time for a losing streak
Following a fantastic February in which James Harden and the Houston Rockets won nine of 11 games, March hasn’t been nearly as kind. The Rockets are 0-3 for the month thus far, losing to the New York Knicks, LA Clippers, and the Hornets.
What’s worse is that the losses have dropped Houston into the fifth spot in the Western Conference standings, 1.5 games behind the Utah Jazz and just one game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks, who sit in seventh. The Rockets are just a half-game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden & Co. will look to right the ship on Sunday night against the Orlando Magic.