He kept up his strong play on New Year's Eve, bringing his 2018 to a close in memorable fashion. Harden finished the night with 43 points -- thanks in large part to a remarkable 21-of-27 from the free throw line -- 10 rebounds and 13 assists to record a triple-double and lead the Rockets to their fifth straight victory, a 113-101 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies.
While he did turn the ball over nine times, it was still yet another incredible night for Harden. The most amazing part of which might be that he managed to score 43 points while making just eight shots from the field. But it was also impressive because it continued Harden's hot streak, which has now reached historic levels.
First of all, Harden has now scored 40-plus points in four straight games; he'll go for five in a row on Thursday night when his Rockets meet the Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), he had six 40-point nights in December, and already has 10 for the season. In addition, he's now scored 35-plus points in eight straight games, passing Oscar Robertson to become the first player in NBA history to have eight games in a row of at least 35 points and five assists.
Furthermore, he's now just the third player in the last 30 years to score 400 points in a 10-game span, joining Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only two stars to manage that. In his last 10 games, Harden has a whopping 408 points.
🚀 @JHarden13 goes off for 43 PTS, 13 AST, 10 REB in the @HoustonRockets win, recording his 4th straight game with 40+ points! #Rockets— NBA (@NBA) January 1, 2019
Harden joins Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players in the last 30 seasons to score 400+ points in a 10-game span. pic.twitter.com/c3d7QHHuct
And if that wasn't enough, Harden also tied Steph Curry's NBA record by making at least five 3-pointers in seven straight games.
Harden's ridiculous hot streak has brought him right to the forefront of the MVP conversation yet again. After finally winning the honor last season, he's putting up even better numbers in the 2018-19 campaign.
In addition, his strong play has turned his team's season around as well. Thanks to The Beard, the Rockets have won five in a row and 10 of their last 11 games to move to 21-15 on the season. After a really tough start to the year, they're now just three games back of the top spot in the West.