Harden sat out Houston's victory over the Golden State Warriors but returned to the starting line-up on Monday as he looked to extend his run of scoring at least 30 points in a match to a 33rd successive game.
However, still bothered by a neck injury, the superstar guard had to settle for a 28-point haul as he missed all 10 three-point attempts.
That brought an end to a stunning record that started back in mid-December, but it is still the second longest in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain, who scored at least 30 points in 65 consecutive games in 1961-62.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 26, 2019
Karl-Anthony Towns claimed an impressive double-double – finishing with 34 points and 21 rebounds – as the Minnesota Timberwolves edged out the Sacramento Kings 112-105.
Derrick Rose added 20 points for the victors, while Marvin Bagley led the Kings with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Devin Booker poured in 20 points as the Phoenix Suns won for the first time in 18 games.
The Suns had seven players score in double figures in the 124-121 win over the Miami Heat, the team's first since January 13.
Elsewhere, Klay Thompson contributed 26 points in a 121-110 win for Golden State over the Charlotte Hornets, the Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs 101-85 and the Detroit Pistons edged out the Indiana Pacers 113-109.
Montrezl Harrell's 32-point haul helped the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks 121-112, the Portland Trail Blazers led by more than 30 points at half-time and survived a scare to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 123-110 and the Philadelphia 76ers saw off the New Orleans Pelicans 111-110.
A LeBron James triple-double – 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists – was not enough as the Los Angeles Lakers fell 110-105 to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks – without Giannis Antetokounmpo – beat the Chicago Bulls 117-106.