The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks have combined to score the most points in the first half on an NBA game since 1990.
During their first match since the coronavirus lockdown, both sides found momentum early and collectively slotted 160 points before the halftime buzzer sounded in Orlando.
The Mavericks managed a mind-boggling 85 points in the first half to 75 before the Rockets pulled off a stellar comeback victory.
Lead by superstar James Harden and point guard Russell Westbrook, Houston somehow took the game to overtime after trailing by seven points with 42 seconds left on the clock.
The Rockets showed their class in overtime to secure their 41st victory of the 2019/20 season, winning the match 153-149.
James Harden has scored 2145 points this season.Source:Getty Images
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Harden achieved his 20th 40-point game of the season on Saturday, mustering 49 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The 30-year-old has become the fourth player in NBA history to reach the feat in multiple seasons, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Elgin Baylor.
The shooting guard also became the Rockets’ second-highest pointscorer in franchise history, and sits behind the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon on the all-time list.
Harden is the only NBA player since 1995 to score 49 or more points on 20 or less shot attempts.
Beard was a BEAST!
🔥 49 PTS
🔥 14/20 FG
💪 9 REB
🏀 8 AST
✔️ Comeback Win pic.twitter.com/84u5RwYZ8J
🔥 James Harden scored 49 points in his 1st game in 4 months!
🏀 Games with 40+ points over the last 2 #NBA seasons:
Giannis, LeBron, Westbrook, Lillard, PG & Durant combined: 47#OneMission #TheBeard #WholeNewGame #ForTheBettor pic.twitter.com/rp3oqbWKJC
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Meanwhile, Westbrook starred in a stellar all-round performance, managing 31 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and two steals.
“Our confidence defensively was building, especially in that fourth quarter,” Harden said after the win.
“We kept pushing the tempo, kept fighting.”
Latvian star Kristaps Porzijngis scored a team-high 39 points and 16 rebounds for the Mavericks, who slip to seventh spot in the Western Conference.
“This is a tough loss,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
“This is about as tough as it gets, and it just comes down to basic execution.”
For their next fixture, the Rockets will come up against the mighty Milwaukee Bucks on Monday (AEST), while the Mavericks will take on the Phoenix Suns.
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