- (Photograph: Twitter/James Harden)
James Harden may have been traded to the Houston Rockets from his Oklahoma City Thunder last weekend, but the 23-year-old guard is giving glory to God for his debut with the team after a record-breaking performance on Wednesday.
After three years of not being relied upon as the Thunder's first scoring option with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on his team, Harden debuted in the Rockets' win over the Detroit Pistons with 37 points, 12 assists, six rebounds, four steals and a block. The feat makes Harden a player with the second-most points scored in the first game on a new team in NBA history, according to ESPN reports.
Harden's stat line makes him only the fourth player in the past 25 years to boast such numbers, with Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Dwyane Wade as the other players to reach this status. The 23-year-old guard received a five-year $80 million contract from the Rockets, and gave God the glory after his debut.
"I just want to thank God for everything he has done in my life. I really am a believer," Harden tweeted on Wednesday. "All glory to the man above."
Harden's big game came days after his shocking trade he told Twitter followers that God may have orchestrated.
"God has a plan for us! @DC4Three @colea45 & Lazar," Harden tweeted to his other Thunder teammates that were traded to the Rockets over the weekend.
Daequan Cook, newly acquired Rockets swingman who was included in Harden's tweet, thought his teammate deserved such a record-breaking opening performance.
"First and foremost wanna congratulate my bro @JHarden13 on the extension and a great opening night performance," Cook tweeted. "You deserve it bro. #AllLove."
Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer and Harden's former teammate on the Thunder also recognized the record-breaking performance on Twitter saying, "I see you H! Bumpinnnnnnnn."
According to ESPN, Harden is the first NBA player to ever score 37 points with double digit assists in his debut on a new team.