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James Harden drops 44 points in Rockets’ win over Pacers (VIDEO)

C.J. Miles, James Harden

C.J. Miles, James Harden

AP

With Dwight Howard on the verge of returning, the Rockets are in a final push for playoff seeding. And James Harden is in a final push for the MVP award, where he and Stephen Curry are the two leading candidates.

Monday night’s 44-point, 7-assist performance in the Rockets’ 110-100 win over the Pacers doesn’t hurt either cause.

It was Harden’s eighth game of the season with at least 40 points, coming less than a week after his career-high 50 points in a win over the Nuggets. It was also the second time this season he’s done it against the Pacers — he scored 45 in their January 19 home win over Indiana.