Houston Rockets guard James Harden suffered a strained left hamstring late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 148-142 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers. As a result, the five-time All Star was unable to return to action.
Harden’s injury came on a driving attempt to the hoop with 54 seconds remaining in regulation. After showing signs of a limp, the team later decided to rule him our for the remainder of the game.
In his 41 minutes of action in Sunday’s game, Harden turned in 40 points on 10-20 shooting from the field (3-8 from beyond the arc), 11 assists, two rebounds, two blocks, and two steals — all while knocking down 17 of his 21 attempts at the free-throw line.
Though he was injured, Harden remained in good spirits during his post-game media availability. The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 Draft said he felt his hamstring pull on the driving attempt.
“Hopefully it is not that serious, just a pull on the hammy,” an optimistic Harden told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “Just got some treatment right now and hopefully, day to day, it gets better.
“But I’ll be good,” Harden added. “[It was concerning] especially [when] you don’t know what it is or you have never experienced it before. Like I really can’t run. If I am going to play. But I really couldn’t run so let me go back here and see what is going on. We’ll see. I think we don’t play again until [Wednesday against Orlando]. … So I got a couple of days.”
When asked about Harden’s injury, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said there might be more information on Monday.
“I don’t think we’ll know [more] until [Monday],” D’Antoni said. “I don’t think they’ll be able to assess it until [Monday] morning.”
Without a doubt, Harden is a warrior on the floor. This is a man who’s missed just two regular-season games over the previous three seasons — none this season.
“If James misses time, it is going to be tough,” Rockets forward Trevor Ariza said of Harden. “Since I have been here, he’s been here, he has been on the court, he has been available. So for him to have to miss time [potentially], it would definitely be tough, definitely be an adjustment.”