James Harden on historic scoring binge

AP Photo/Michael Wyke
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Earlier this season, I marveled at Kevin Durant scoring 144 points in three games.

James Harden has scored 153 points in his last three games.

And that culminated a far longer stretch of elite scoring. In his last 20 games, Harden is averaging 41.2 points per game.

Just Kobe Bryant – who scored only a single point more than Harden during a 20-game stretch in 2005-06 – has scored more across 20 games since 1964.

To be fair, Wilt Chamberlain topped Harden’s 20-game mark 116 times (many overlapping), peaking at 53.4 points per game over 20 games games in 1962. Elgin Baylor also had four higher-scoring 20-game stretches. But those two and Bryant are the only ones to top Harden.

Really, that leaves only Bryant topping Harden in modern times. And it might be only a matter of time until Harden bests Bryant. If Harden scores at least 37 points in his next game – which he has done in his last five games – he’ll pass Bryant. Or if Harden scores 66 points in his next two games, he’ll pass Bryant.

For now, here are the highest-scoring 20-game stretches since the NBA-ABA merger: