The Brooklyn Nets are in Texas for back-to-back games, beginning with Dallas on Tuesday and ending with Houston on Wednesday. The game against the Rockets will be extra special for at least one player: James Harden. He spent eight years in Houston before being traded to Brooklyn last January.
On March 3, Harden returned to the Toyota Center for the first time. After being “welcomed” back with a chorus of boos, the 2018 MVP finished with a triple-double. He scored 29 points, dished out 14 assists, and pulled down 10 rebounds in a 132-114 win.
On Wednesday night, Harden will have the chance to have yet another impressive outing on his former home court. Harden’s struggled for the Nets so far this season, averaging 20.6 points per game and shooting 40.3% from the field, but perhaps being back in familiar territory will spark him to break out of his slump and return to the player that Brooklyn knows he can be.
In anticipation of Harden’s return, let’s look back at his four best games at the Toyota Center with the Rockets.
4. March 29, 2015 vs Nuggets
On this historic night, 25-year-old Harden had the first 50-point game of his career against the Denver Nuggets in Houston. Before the matchup, Harden’s career-high was 46 points.
By halftime, Harden had 22 points and the Rockets were up 65-49. In the third quarter, he added 16 more points, with eight of them coming from the free-throw line. With a minute left to play in the game, Harden knocked down two more free throws to push his point total to 47. Not too long after that, Trevor Ariza found Harden in the corner, who knocked down a 3-pointer to hit 50 and solidify the 118-108 win over Denver.
The MVP candidate played 40 minutes and shot 12-of-27 from the floor (44.4%), including 8-of-12 from the 3-point line (66.7%). He went 22-of-25 from the free-throw line.
Harden’s performance marked the ninth time that a player for the Rockets scored 50 points, but it hadn’t been done since Hakeem Olajuwon had 51 in 1996. It was Harden’s 29th game that season scoring at least 30 points, and his seventh with at least 40.
During the 2014-15 season, Harden averaged 27.4 points and shot 44% from the floor.