James Harden’s incredible scoring streak may come to an end when Chris Paul returns, but the reigning NBA MVP is ready to welcome the Rockets point guard back with open arms.
The injury-ravaged Rockets beat the Toronto Raptors 121-119 on Friday as Harden scored 35 points, continuing his incredible run of having scored at least 30 points in 22 successive games.
All but five of those totals have been achieved without Paul, the nine-time All-Star sidelined since before Christmas because of a hamstring injury.
Paul, 33, is set to make his comeback Sunday against the Magic, and Harden knows Paul can be a major asset.
Another 30+ game for The MVP! (22 in-a-row) pic.twitter.com/Q9eqPMpRkr
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 26, 2019
Asked what he will bring to the team, Harden told reporters: “Leadership and just play-making ability. [On] defense, being able to create defensive steals to our offense.
“I’m just happy to see him back on the court. He spent so long working out and trying to get his body healthy and right as well.”
The presence of Paul should ease the burden on Harden, who insists he is happy for his numbers to decrease if it benefits the team.
“It’s great, I’m here for whatever,” Harden said of his role when Paul returns.
“Whatever I have to do. Guys go out, some guys got to step up, some guys got to step up more than usual.
“When guys are healthy, roles are gonna dim down a little bit, but that’s fine. As long as we’re playing well as a team and we’re clicking, we’re good.”