New York Knicks lose fourth straight behind historic performance from Rockets' James Harden (Highlights)
Dec 31, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket while New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks were short-handed on the road against the Houston Rockets and lost. James Harden didn’t give them much hope.

  • Houston Rockets 129 (26-9)
  • New York Knicks 122 (16-17)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Remember when triple-doubles weren’t a routine occurrence? That’s right, before James Harden and Russell Westbrook made them old hat this season a triple-double was a rare feat. Back in 2013-14, Lance Stephenson led the league with a measly five. On New Year’s Eve Harden recorded his eighth of 2016-17, but it was far from routine.

It was one of the single greatest performances in NBA history. After recording a triple-double in Friday’s game against the Clippers, Harden finished on Saturday night with an incredible stat line of 53 points, 17 assists, and 16 rebounds.

The Beard had the first 50-15-15 game in NBA history. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Harden tied Wilt Chamberlin’s record for most points scored in a triple-double.

Harden ruined the holiday for Brandon Jennings. The point guard was thrust into the starting lineup due to injury and had his best game as a Knick, but his 32 points and seven assists were lost in the shuffle of Harden’s dominance.

When the Rockets superstar takes over a game it’s unlike any other player in the NBA. Clyde Frazier compared Harden to triple-double legend Oscar Robertson during tonight’s broadcast. Both players are methodical and grind down the opponent before doing whatever they wanted.

It looked like Westbrook would be the triple-double star one more time on New Year’s Eve when he posted a triple-double in the first half against the Clippers. But, unfortunately for the Knicks, this was Harden’s night.

New York mercifully returns home to try and stop their four-game losing streak Monday against the Orlando Magic (15-19).

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.