Harden catches up with Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain

The guard for the Rockets, fourth in the West, adds his third consecutive Top Scorer title and exceeds 34 points on average for the second season.


The reboot of the bubble closed its seeding games (the extension leg of the Regular Season: eight games per team) with four crashes in which there was no longer anything at stake. Today (and tomorrow if Tennessee win today), the play will be played, Blazers-Grizzlies, and on Monday the 2020 playoffs begin, some atypical ones in which there will be no trips or field advantages.

With the headlines and the stars resting or playing for only a handful of minutes, these were the results of the last day: 444 444

Toronto Raptors 117-Denver Nuggets 109

Indiana Pacers 109-Miami Heat 92

LA Clippers 107-OKC Thunder 103

Houston Rockets 96-Philadelphia 76ers 13

The Raptors, the champion, have finished their bubble games 7-1 and 53-19 the season, a 73.6% of victories that is the best all-time mark in the franchise, which the last two seasons won 72% ( 59-23) and 70.7% (58-24) of their matches. A huge credit for a team that lost Danny Green in the summer and, above all, Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP. Pacers and Heat put away their cards before the duel that will face them in the first round and the defeat of the Thunder leaves them fifth (inconsequential without a court factor) before playing with the Rockets, who also crashed against the Sixers in a clash of teams that will have their second stars (Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons) out at the start of the playoffs.

James Harden finished the game with 27 points and 10 assists in 26 minutes and leaves his average points in the Regular Season at 34.4, to which he adds 6.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.8 steals. He is (with Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James) in the trio of finalists for the MVP and rises alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan as the only ones with more than one season of at least 34 points per game. Harden averaged last, 2018-19, 36.1. Plus, he joins Jordan himself and Allen Iverson as the only players to have led a season (Jordan did it three times) in total (not average) points and steals. He has also sealed his third consecutive season as NBA Top Scorer.

James Harden (MVP in 2018), now 30 years old, came to the Rockets in 2012, has achieved his eighth consecutive playoff ticket, every season since he has been on a team that had previously missed the playoffs in all three previous courses. In six of the last seven, in addition, his team has finished in the top4 of their Conference. Now he has a tremendous challenge from the first round, which he faces without Westbrook (at least initially) and against a very tough rival, the Thunder of Chris Paul, his teammate on the team that almost played the 2018 Finals (3-4 against the Warriors). The Houston franchise has completed a quarter of a century since it last set foot (1995) in the final series for the ring.

Photos from as.com
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