-- HOUSTON -- James Harden set a new career high with 56 points in a spectacular shooting display in the? Houston Rockets' 137-110 win Sunday over the Utah Jazz.
Harden was 19-of-25 shooting, including 7-of-8 from 3-point range. He also recorded 13 assists, accounting for a total of 91 points.
Harden's 56 points marked the second-most in a single game in Rockets franchise history, behind only Calvin Murphy, who poured in 57 during the 1977-78 season.?
A Jazz defense that ranks among the league's stingiest was shredded by Harden, who was spectacularly efficient shooting off the dribble. Harden made his first 10 shots from the floor. He was 19-of-22 before missing his final three attempts and checking out to a standing ovation from the Toyota Center crowd with 7:32 remaining in the game.
It was the sixth 50-plus-point performance by Harden, all coming over the past four seasons. He eclipsed his previous career-best total of 53 points by the end of the third quarter, which he finished with a driving layup in the last second.
Harden, last season's MVP runner-up, had 22 points on 8-of-8 shooting in the first quarter. He hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final nine seconds of the frame, crouching for several seconds after hitting a pull-up 3 over Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio to beat the end-of-quarter buzzer.
Before Harden, the only player to drop 50 in a game for coach Mike D'Antoni was Amar'e Stoudemire, who finished with 50 points as a member of the? Phoenix Suns?on Jan. 2, 2005, against the Washington Wizards.