(AL.com) – On a night when Stephen Curry and LeBron James weren’t in action, James Harden took center stage and used every minute of the opportunity to stake his claim for the NBA’s MVP trophy. The Houston Rockets guard scored a career-high 51 points in a 115-11 win against the Sacramento Kings on April Fool’s Day.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder shot 64 percent from the field, connecting on 16 of 25 attempts, including eight of nine from 3-point range. The league-leader in free-throw attempts, Harden made 11 of 13 from the charity stripe while leading the Rockets to their fifth victor in their last six outings.

“If the attack is there, then I take it,” Harden said. “If not, I find the assist, find one of my teammates open and I’ll pass the ball. Similar to every single game I play in.”

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