James Harden was back at his best on Wednesday night as he helped lead his Houston Rockets past the Los Angeles Clippers 102-93 in a very interesting and tense game. Harden put up a gargantuan 47 points in the victory, but it was not as easy as it perhaps could have been. The Rockets had led by 16 points at the end of the first quarter, only to allow the Clippers to reduce the deficit little by little as the game wore on. Kawhi Leonard didn’t have his best game for the opposite number, but he still ended up leading the way with 26 points. In the end, it was not enough, though, and the Clippers also saw coach Doc Rivers ejected for arguing about a call. As a result of the game, the Rockets are now at 8-3 and the Clippers are 7-4. They might have a worry or two as well, as that makes it just one road win in four thus far. However, Paul George is set to debut on Thursday, giving them yet another option to turn to.
Don’t look now, but the best team in the NBA might not be either of the teams located in L.A. It may not be anyone from the West, for that matter. It could just be the Boston Celtics. On Wednesday night, they took their ninth win in a row, moving to 9-1 on the season, as they defeated the Washington Wizards 140-133 in an offensive thriller. To get that win was not the easiest thing ever, as Bradley Beal went off for the Wizards, scoring 44 points for the visitors. The team effort of the Celtics proved to be too much in the end, though, as Kemba Walker scored 25 to lead the way in a game that was constantly close throughout all four quarters. The C’s ended up having five players with 17+ points on the evening, quite the showing that allowed them to edge past the now 2-7 Wizards.
For the seventh time in the history of the National League, a pitcher has been named the Cy Young Award winner two years in a row, as Jacob deGrom was announced as the winner of Wednesday. The New York Mets ace got 29 of the 30 votes on offer, and he achieved it by going 11-8 with an ERA of 2.43 and 255 strikeouts on the year. The Mets ultimately fell short of the playoffs, but that was by no means his fault. In the American League, Justin Verlander took home top honors, managing to do so for the second time. However, he had to wait eight years in order to get. Verlander narrowly edged out his teammate, Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros, by a vote total of 17 to 13 to grab the award. He is the 20th pitcher to win multiple awards and he’s got the distinction of having the longest period between awards in history now.