This James Harden cat. He's pretty...good. What I found most amazing at Harden's career high 40 last night against the Suns is that he did it in typical Harden-like fashion. He scored 40 off of only 17 shots (making 12), getting to the free throw line (11-11), and making 3-pointers (5-8). While Harden is not always going to shoot such a high percentage from 3-point range, I think that it is important that the Thunder continue to feed him the ball late in games and give him scoring opportunities. After all, three late-game scorers is better than two.
What should not be lost on this game amidst the Harden praise is that the Thunder played good defense against the Suns most of the night. They completely bottled up Steve Nash and his playmaking ability, holding Nash to only 5 assists against 5 turnovers. The main casualty of the Thunder's defense was Marcin Gortat, who had previously had a field day against OKC. This time out, he got few open looks and only shot 2-13 on the night.
One last Harden stat. The Suns bench actually played very well last night, scoring 35 points off of 14-28 shooting. Harden outscored them by himself.