[daily_cut.NBA] The three-time All-Star shooting guard eclipsed his previous career-high of 46 points, set on Feb. 20, 2013, against the Thunder. Harden joins Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (57 and 55), Warriors guards Klay Thompson (52) and Stephen Curry (51), and Timberwolves guard Mo Williams (52) as the only players to score 50 or more points in a game this season.
"My teammates did an unbelievable job tonight," Harden told CSN Houston during a postgame interview. "Every night. Every single night. Getting me open, getting me shots. All glory to God."
Harden, the NBA's second-leading scorer, shot 12 for 27 from the field, 4 for 12 from deep and 22 for 25 from the free-throw line, including 12 points in the game's final 6:16 to close out the double-digit victory. He added 10 rebounds, four assists and one steal in 40 minutes, although this was far from Harden's best shooting night.
In one obvious way, this was a vintage Harden performance. The NBA's leader in free throws made and attempted set a NBA season-high with 22 made free throws, passing his own mark of 19 against the Blazers on Feb. 8. The last person to make at least 22 free throws in a game? Harden, of course, when he hit 22 against the Grizzlies on Dec. 26, 2013.
Houston improved to 46-22. Denver dropped to 26-43.
GALLERY: ALL OF THE NBA'S 50-POINT SCORERS SINCE 2004