Harden’s monster game eclipsed Porzingis’s own career high of 40 in the Knicks’ 108-101 come-from-behind victory over the Pacers at the Garden.
Porzingis was 15 for 24 from the field, with eight rebounds and a season-high six blocks.
In his first two seasons in the league, Porzingis had a total of three 30-point games. But he has seven in nine games this season, his first playing without Carmelo Anthony, now with the Thunder.
“The challenge is never too big for me,” Porzingis told NBA.com on Sunday. “I always accept the challenge, and that’s why I knew coming in to this season, if Melo was not going to be here, then I am going to have to be the guy.”
James’s game Friday might have been the best of them all. He totaled 57 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. The Basketball-Reference statistic Game Score, which factors in everything a player does, rated it the fourth-best game of the century, trailing only Bryant’s 81-point game, Devin Booker’s 70-pointer last season and Anthony Davis’s 59-point game in 2016.
James made 23 of his 34 shots. It was something of an old-school performance; many of his shots were classic turnaround jumpers. He attempted only four 3-pointers.
“I’ve been working quite a bit on my turnarounds and my fadeaways and my footwork, things of that nature, and I was able to get to it,” he told ESPN. “Once I fade, I really don’t see the defender as much, and I’m just focusing on the target.”
The Cavs have struggled this season, with the new acquisition Isaiah Thomas yet to play because of a hip injury. James’s big night to beat a good Wizards team seemed to indicate they can’t be written off as a contender, though, as long as he remains in the lineup, even if on Sunday the Cavs (4-6) were back to losing, 117-115, at home to the Hawks. James had 26 points.
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