HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Rockets victory was well in hand on Saturday night come the final minute. All that was left was some icing on the cake.

In this case, it was James Harden and a triple double that is an accomplishment not often realized by any player in the league.

Harden was one rebound away. He had 24 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists. As time ticked down, there was Harden waiting under the hoop as Darell Arthur fired up a shot with about 14 seconds remaining. It clanged off the rim. Harden was in perfect position for the clinching rebound. Except, Troy Daniels was in the vicinity. Instinct took over a bit as Daniels went for the rebound too. The result was a ball out of bounds, back to the Nuggets. Harden did not have his 10th board.

As luck would have it, Kenneth Faried missed a shot in the final seconds and this time, the ball bounced to Harden and only Harden as the buzzer sounded.

The triple double was his.

“It’s nice,” Harden said. “That just means that I’m all over the place in a good way: rebounding the basketball, looking for my teammates, and scoring. That’s my job every single night and that’s what I try to go out there and do, for the most part.”

This was Harden’s third career triple double and first since March 27 of last season. It almost didn’t happen, of course, due to the confusion on the rebound on Arthur’s miss, but that became a moment to laugh about.

“I almost tackled Troy (Daniels) out of bounds trying to get that last rebound,” Harden joked. “I mean, everybody in the arena knew what was going on except Troy. I’m lucky I got it at the end, but I definitely had to talk to him about that.”

Of course, Harden meant those words in a good-natured fun way. After all, the MVP contender had his triple double and, most importantly, he helped lead the Rockets to yet another win.

 

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