Harden is just the fourth player in NBA history with 20 games of at least 40 points in the first 50 games of the season, joining Michael Jordan, Rick Barry, and Chamberlain. His efforts on Monday helped send the Suns to their 11th straight loss, and the Rockets were playing without Eric Gordon and Clint Capela. They did get 18 points from Chris Paul and a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds form their recent addition, Kenneth Faried.
Josh Jackson led the Suns with 25 points, but they did lose star Devin Booker, who went down in the fourth quarter with a tight hamstring. Booker put up 19 points before exiting with the injury, as the Suns trailed by as many as 20 points in their 44th loss of the season. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 23, while Deandre Ayton recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
The Suns did rally late to get the deficit much closer, but Harden put up 14 points in the final 12 minutes to keep the Rockets ahead. Houston will stay on the road to visit the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, while the Suns will hope to snap their losing streak that same night on the road against the Utah Jazz.