By the Numbers: Harden's triple-double

By the Numbers: Harden's triple-double
February 3, 2013, 1:15 pm
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James Harden picked up his first-career triple-double on Saturday night.

Harden finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He was given the game ball for his effort.

"It means a lot to me," Harden said after the game to CSN's Howard Chen. "It's my first time ever. Guys make shots, I try to rebound, I try to find other ways to impact the game other than scoring."

Harden became the 18th player in the NBA in 2012-13 to record a triple-double. He now has as many triple-doubles this season as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Jrue Holiday.

Three players have two triple-doubles this seaosn: Jose Calderon, Nicolas Batum and LeBron James. Boston's Rajon Rondo leads the NBA with five this season. Even though Rondo is out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear, he might end up leading the league.

Rondo had six last year. He was the only player with more than one.

But back to Harden. Saturday marked just the fifth double-double in the 23-year-old's career -- all of the games have come this season. His new mark of 11 rebounds is a career high. He previously had 10 at New York (Dec. 17, 2012) and 10 vs. the Lakers (Dec. 4, 2012).

The last Rocket with a triple double was Kyle Lowry last season at Minnesota on Jan. 23. He had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Hakeem Olajuwon had 14 career triple-doubles to go along with 771 career double-doubles. In 1990, he recorded a quadruple-double. He's one of three NBA players to do that.

So will Harden get a triple-double again?

It's possible. The points will be there. He averages over 25 per game. And has scored in double-figures in all but one game this season.

But assists and rebounds are a different story. He has just three career games with 10 or more rebounds and three games with 10 or more assists. That's what makes his triple-double unique and also makes it seemingly unlikely to happen often.