Insane Stats Which Prove James Harden Is a Better Scorer Than Kobe Bryant in His Prime

Published 08/23/2021, 12:54 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The game of basketball has gone through many changes over time. From physical and slow paced, it quickly became a high-scoring and high-paced game. It has now become a scorer’s game, and some players have adapted to it perfectly – James Harden, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant.


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But when it comes to insane scoring streaks, Harden is the only player who comes to mind. In 2019, he went off on a 32 game scoring streak of 30 or more points while playing for Houston. This is the reason he is regarded as one of the best to do it.

The USA’s Kobe Bryant during the match at the Men’s Basketball Final between USA and Spain at the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic games. London, UK. 12th August 2012. (Photo: Steve Christo) (Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)

But is he better than Kobe? This stat proves the gap between Harden and other modern-day players.


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The Beard can’t miss

Harden is unstoppable once he finds his rhythm. Naturally, there have been a few instances where the Brooklyn star caught fire, taking point after point. Shockingly, the ‘Beard’ has the most quarters in NBA history with 20+ points without missing any shot.

James Harden Has the Most Quarters in NBA History with 20+ Points, 100% FG, and 100% FT from nba

He has done this five times. This comes to him naturally, as he is such a difficult shot maker. However, what makes it an impressive feat is seeing that the next best is just two; Kobe Bryant and Joel Embiid are next in line with two such quarters.

Many argue that Harden generates most of his points through free throws. But, to his credit, in these 5 quarters, he never went to the line over 10 times. His maximum free throws in such a quarter are 9. Hence, we can not criticize the ‘Beard’ for this outstanding record.

Is James Harden a better scorer than Kobe Bryant?

It is difficult to come to a firm answer to this question. Both Bryant and James are unbelievable scorers of the game; they mastered the art of scoring and knew how to manipulate the game in their favors.

The main factor to take into consideration is the era they played in.

SAN ANTONIO – MAY 7: (FILE PHOTO) Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers bites his jersey in Game two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at SBC Center on May 7, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas. Bryant was released on bail by the Eagle County Sheriff’s office in Colorado July 6, 2003 after posting a $25,000 bond on a felony count of sexual assault. (Photo by: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

While Harden has played all his career according to the modern rules, ‘Mamba’ took the hits in the older era. He played a much more physical game of basketball and still succeeded in scoring – this is what separates him from most of his peers.


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Notably, in the 2003 season, Kobe went off on a 40 point scoring spree for nine consecutive games. He joined big names such as Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to have such streaks. Bryant was a student of basketball and kept learning new ways to get an edge over others.

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) takes a breather against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of the Lakers’ 103-88 game 1 first round NBA playoff game win at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 29, 2012. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

With the amount of free throws being much less in his era, no one could average such crazy numbers. In today’s game, fouls come for the smallest reasons in the NBA, and it has become a scorer’s game. However, back in the day, it focused all on a hard game of basketball. Hence, it wouldn’t have been easy for Harden to put up such crazy numbers in Kobe’s era.


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To sum it up, Bryant still remains to be a better scorer than Harden. But at the rate the ‘Beard’ is rising, no goal is too far.

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Anuj Talwalkar

292 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.