James Harden Earns 2nd Triple-Double of Career in Win over Philadelpha 76ers

Daniel O'Brien@@DanielO_BRFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2014

Mar 27, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) brings the ball up the court during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers were no match for "The Beard" on Thursday night, as James Harden notched his second career triple-double before the third quarter was over.

With 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 dimes, the Rockets superstar did a little bit of everything during Houston's 120-98 triumph over the hapless Sixers, who dropped their record-tying 26th game in a row.

He absolutely carved up Philly's feeble defense. They couldn't prevent him from attacking the rim, firing away from deep, sharing the wealth and grabbing four offensive boards.

Games like this one showcase Harden's ability to dominate both as a scorer and facilitator. If opponents can't execute an adequate game plan, he can do almost anything he wants. Whenever the Sixers overcommitted to stopping his drives, he dished to his capable cast of role players.

The blowout also proved how quickly Harden can put away teams when he gets in a groove. Only three players, including his teammate Jeremy Lin, have registered a triple-double in fewer minutes this season:

Harden was able to keep everyone involved against the Sixers: 11 different Rockets got on the scoreboard, and Lin, Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Chandler Parsons each scored at least 13 points.

The bearded guard recorded his first career triple-double roughly a year ago on February 2 against the Charlotte Bobcats. Considering the trajectory of his career, it shouldn't take him too long to get his third, along with several more in the future.

Sure, the Sixers are the coldest team in the NBA, so some may argue that Harden's feat doesn't count. But he racked up those numbers in just three quarters, so you have to cut him some slack and give him credit for dispatching Philly in swift fashion.


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