Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, left, celebrates a...

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, left, celebrates a basket with point guard Eric Bledsoe during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors. (April 14, 2012) Credit: AP

In case you haven't noticed, James Harden has arrived.

The Oklahoma City guard, who has started just two of 60 games this year, scored 40 points in 36 minutes off the bench last night, leading the Thunder past the Suns, 109-97.

Harden's offensive game has taken a major step forward in his third season in Oklahoma City. He is averaging 16.8 points on 48.9 percent shooting, including 39.1 percent from three, a year after averaging 12.2 points on 43.6 percent from the floor and 34.9 percent from deep.

The ASU alum was his usual efficient self last night, too. He needed just 17 shots to score 40, shooting 12-for-17 from the floor, 5-for-8 from three, and a perfect 11-for-11 from the line. He added four steals and seven rebounds.

Harden also had three assists, one of them a no-look dime to Kevin Durant, who finished the play off with a jam. The assist landed Harden and Durant in the No. 6 spot on the NBA's nightly top 10 list.

Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas were 1-2 on the countdown, Gay for a powerful jam against New Orleans, and Isaiah Thomas for an off-balance assist to Marcus Thornton.

Also for your Thursday morning viewing pleasure, a clip of Chris Paul's God Shammgod crossover during the Clippers' 112-104 win over the Warriors last Saturday.

(Major h/t to Dan Devine at Yahoo! Sports for finding the YouTube clip.) Shammgod made the dribble famous -- you can see him in action at Providence here -- and even said he taught it to Kobe Bryant while the two were at the ABCD camp.

Shammgod lasted just 20 games in the NBA.

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