Houston (SPORTSRADIO 610) – The Rockets were without regular starters in Trevor Ariza and Chris Paul Tuesday night and their absence was palpable in their late 114-107 win over the Orlando Magic. James Harden had a monster night to carry the team with 60 points to set the all-time Rockets single game scoring record. He also added 10 rebounds and 11 assists to make it a triple-double, the first 60-point triple-double in NBA history.
“If you go out there and just get a feel for the game and be aggressive, good things are bound to happen. You know, smart aggressiveness, not just out there running reckless and so that was the case tonight,” Harden said.
Guard Chris Paul sat out due to some groin soreness that is not considered to be serious, but is officially listed as day-to-day although he did work out prior to the game. Forward Trevor Ariza has not been given a timetable for his hamstring injury and was told that his strained hamstring was not as serious as teammate James Harden’s. And now, guard Eric Gordon’s playing time in the near future is in jeopardy because of lower back stiffness that forced him to leave the game early in the first quarter.
“We were down and that’s no excuse. We’ve got to figure a way to win games, figure a way to compete at a high level, no matter who is on the floor,” James said.
Harden had a heavy workload playing 46:26 of the 48 minutes. Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni was constantly checking on him in the limited time James was on the bench asking if he need more time to rest. That was not necessary.
“I could still play right now if I want to.”