James Harden has been in video game mode since he arrived in Brooklyn, re-writing the franchise's record books again in their 112-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He poured in 38 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds on 11-of-25 from the field and 4-of-8 from deep, making it 12 triple-doubles on the season, matching Jason Kidd's all-time Nets franchise record for triple-doubles in a single season.
Kidd set the record in 2006-07 and matched it again the following season, with Harden taking just 32 games in a Nets uniform to tie the record.
"Different but both dominate and impressive for James in such a short time to track up so many triple-doubles," head coach Steve Nash said post-game of Harden's achievement.
"He's our leader and meant a lot to us in another triple-double.
"You can't take it for granted, but you tend to a little bit because he's able to pull these [triple-doubles] out of a hat every single night"
Harden's performance tonight was his fourth 30-point triple-double, breaking a tie with Jason Kidd for the most such games in franchise history, per Basketball Reference.
Behind-the-back look from @JHarden13 to @BruceBrown11 😮 pic.twitter.com/VQkkzFYnHZ- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 30, 2021
The Nets have now won 18 of their past 21 games, with all eight of their wins since the All-Star break coming in clutch situations, where they have won a league-best 21 out of 28 games. That gives them the second-best win percentage in clutch situations at .750, tied with the Portland Trail Blazers, while only trailing the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden was again at the centre of the action in crunchtime, scoring 13 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter, including a clutch 3-pointer with 3:50 remaining to put them up 106-96.
🔒🔒🔒 pic.twitter.com/avssAvTtvf- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 30, 2021
The Wolves got back to within one point at 108-107 with just under a minute remaining thanks to buckets from rookie Anthony Edwards, but Harden and Kyrie Irving iced the game at the free-throw line after the Nets clamped down on defence down the stretch.
"You can never be complacent," Harden said of his mindset.
"I can't be complacent-I've never been like that and I won't start now. I think I can always be better. I think when you are trying to accomplish something, first you gotta look in the mirror and look at yourself and see what things you can do better and ways you can contribute in a better way for the betterment of the team.
"I can control everything that is going on around me, I can control it a little bit. But the one thing I know I can control is myself."
Irving impressed in his return to the lineup after missing the past three games, burying his first six shots of the game on his way to 27 points and seven rebounds.
With the win, the Nets improve to 32-15, a half-game back of the conference-leading 76ers.
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