Cover Image for James Harden and Russell Westbrook combine for the most PPG since Elgin Baylor and Jerry West

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combine for the most PPG since Elgin Baylor and Jerry West

Arjun Julka
|Sun Jul 24 2022


Former Rockets teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61.5 PPG in the 2019-20 season, which is reportedly the most since Elgin Baylor-Jerry West.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook have a lot of history together. Drafted by the OKC Thunder, the former teammates spent a lot of their early days together in the NBA. Ironically, the two superstars had their only Finals appearance together in 2012 against the Big 3 in Miami.

Unfortunately, the Thunder would lose to the Heat in 5-games. The young trio of Kevin Durant, Westbrook, and Harden weren’t ready for showtime, squaring off against seasoned players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Following this exit, the Thunder decided to ship Harden to the Rockets.

The trade proved to be a blessing in disguise, with Harden becoming an iconic player for H-Town. The former 6th MOY would establish him as one the greatest scorers of all time. Similarly for Westbrook, the OKC guard had become the triple-double machine, one of the greatest shows in basketball.

Also read: “James Harden takes a more team-helpful deal while Russell Westbrook opts in for his $47M”: Skip Bayless calls out the Lakers PG for self-centered approach

While they were creating waves individually, both Harden and Westbrook had their ceilings till the first round of the playoffs. During the 2019-20 off-season, the two superstars expressed an inclination to reunite. As a result, Mr. Triple-Double got traded to the Rockets.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61.5 PPG in the 2019-20 season.

Amid all the hype around the former OKC teammates reuniting in Houston, the marriage between Harden and Westbrook lasted for merely one season. The Rockets finished the season as the 4th seed during the 2019-20 season, with a 44-28 record.

Both Harden and Westbrook combined for 61.5 PPG, which was the most since the iconic Lakers duo of Elgin Baylor and Jerry West in 1969, who combined for 69 PPG. The Beard and Brodie averaged 34.3 PPG and 27.2 PPG, respectively, with the former winning his 3rd scoring title.

Despite making several strides individually, both Harden and Westbrook would fall short when it mattered the most. The Rockets failed to get past the second round of the 2020 playoffs in the Bubble, with the Lakers superstar duo of King James and Anthony Davis eliminating them in 5-games.

The following season, Harden expressed his desire of wanting out. Meanwhile, Westbrook got traded to the Washington Wizards. Following this, the two multiple-time All-Stars have been on the decline.

Also read: “More than $130M wasted on John Wall, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook”: NBA Twitter points out disastrous contracts of multiple-time All-Stars

 


About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

A 26-year-old from Mumbai. A huge Basketball fan who regularly consumes hours of basketball content, be it matches, debates, or analysis. Some of my other interests include CrossFit, watching documentaries, collecting sneakers, and trying out different types of cuisines.

Read more from Arjun Julka