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Harden’s career-high 51 lead Rockets over Kings 115-111

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden continues to strengthen his case for the MVP award, and is forging a place as one of the best players in Houston Rockets history in the process.

He had a career-high 51 points, and the Rockets squandered a huge early lead but held on for a 115-111 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

The performance surpassed Harden’s previous career best of 50 points, which came on March 19. It’s his 33rd 30-point game this season and the ninth time he’s scored 40 this season, which both lead the NBA.

He’s the first player in the history of a franchise with Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Moses Malone to have two 50-point games in a season. There have only been 10 in team history.

“He finds a way to wow our team every time he goes out there,” Houston’s Trevor Ariza said. “He’s just so crafty and he can score so many different ways. It’s definitely fun to watch.”

Houston was up by nine with about eight minutes left when Sacramento used a 9-2 spurt to get within 104-102 with 5

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