Los Angeles, December 14: Houston Rockets star James Harden reminded everyone why he won the NBA MVP last season, starring against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 29-year-old guard posted his NBA record fourth 50-point triple-double with 50 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a 126-111 win over the Lakers on Thursday (December 13).
The Rockets are 13-14 this season and in 13th in the Western Conference, but are 2-0 against LeBron James' Lakers (17-11).
"We're in a hole right now, you look at the standings and we're in the spot and it's kind of depressing," Harden told TNT after the game. "But we've got to figure it out.
"We continue to fight our way through it, then we had injuries, a lot of new players, we're trying to figure it out, but the last two games we've been playing pretty well."
Houston have now won back-to-back games over probable playoff teams in the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. They handed Los Angeles just their second loss in the last eight games.
James scored a team-high 29 points with five rebounds and four assists in the loss.
🚀 Most 50-point triple-doubles in @NBAHistory (4)— NBA (@NBA) December 14, 2018
🚀 37th career triple-double
🚀 2nd triple-double this season
James Harden tallies 50 PTS, 10 REB & 11 AST in the @HoustonRockets victory! #Rockets pic.twitter.com/SmYBVBTswz
Kuzma shines for Lakers
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma had 24 points, five assists and three rebounds in the loss to the Rockets.
Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting in a 125-87 win over the Clippers.
Caldwell-Pope fails to fire
Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had trouble shooting the ball as he went one of six from beyond the arc while scoring eight points.
House, Nowitzki produce highlights
Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. threw one down on a fast break.
Dirk Nowitzki set an NBA record by playing in Thursday's game against the Suns. He has now played in more seasons with one team (21) than any player in history. He also knocked down the first shot he took in typical Dirk fashion.
Houston Rockets 126-111 Los Angeles Lakers
San Antonio Spurs 125-87 Los Angeles Clippers
Orlando Magic 97-91 Chicago Bulls
Phoenix Suns 99-89 Dallas Mavericks
Pacers at 76ers
The number four (Pacers) and three (76ers) teams in the Eastern Conference match up on Friday (December 14) in Philadelphia. The Pacers just got star guard Victor Oladipo back from injury while the 76ers are coming off a tough loss in overtime to the Nets.