Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni knew James Harden’s streak would end, because he was ‘a little rusty’
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni knew star James Harden would see an end to his rampant scoring streak sooner than later, while also expressing confidence in his All-Star shooting guard starting another tear:
“Eventually, it was going to have to end one of these days,” said D’Antoni, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “He’s unbelievable. He’ll start another one.
“Accumulation of eight days being off for the All-Star Game and you come back and play one (game) kind of hurt and then don’t play the next. He’s played two days (including the practice in which he was hurt) out of the last (12) days. He was a little rusty.”
Harden missed Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors before returning for Monday night’s tilt against the Atlanta Hawks, falling short of the 30-point mark with a tally of 28.
The Beard had scored 30 or more in 32 straight games, claiming second place to Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time record of 65 straight.
Harden was scuffing for most of the game, going 0-for-10 from deep and failing to make a 3-pointer for the first time this season. His six turnovers during a 7-of-21 shooting night marked an emblematic end to his run, one that he managed to salvage on several occasions with late-game heroics and plenty of shots available to him.
Now with the Rockets in full force, it’s likely Harden will dial back his aggression and save it for the postseason run, now able to count on Chris Paul, Clint Capela and other additions made throughout the season.
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