Houston Rockets’ James Harden recorded his 31st consecutive 30-point game on Thursday, tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in the NBA.

Harden, 29, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, scored 42 points in a 121-111 defeat by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Chamberlain, who also holds the top position, scored at least 30 points in 65 consecutive games in 1961-62, his run of 31 started that same season.

Thursday night also marked Harden’s 22nd 40-point game of the season.

No other player in the NBA has more than seven 40-point games.

The Rockets, who are currently fifth in the Western Conference, have won 16 of their games when Harden scores 40 points.

Is Harden more dominant than Chamberlain?

His 30-point streak, which started on 13 December, looked in doubt after he finished the first quarter with just five points, but an emphatic 15-point second quarter followed and he hit the 30-point mark in the third quarter.

Harden faces a week-long wait in his bid to pass Chamberlain, with the Rockets returning from the All Star break on 21 February to face LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers.

Chamberlain’s record 65-game run was ended on 24 February, 1962 when the Boston Celtics held him to just 26 points. The next day he scored 67 to start a 31-game streak of 30-point games.