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James Harden was close to sitting out Bucks game due to bruised knee

Houston Rockets superstar shooting guard James Harden continued his MVP-caliber start to the 2017-18 NBA season with yet another spectacular outing. “The Beard” finished with 31 points, six rebounds, and five assists to help give the Rockets their 13th straight win since the return of superstar point guard Chris Paul.

However, it was a performance that almost never happened. According to ESPN’s Tim McMahon, Harden was close to sitting out after suffering some pain in his knee following Houston’s blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs the night before:

 “I wasn’t feeling well at all, but the doc came in and just told me that there’s going to be pain for a bit, but you can play through it,” Harden said. “It can’t get worse, but it’s going to be pretty painful until obviously you give it some time. Once he said that, I was like, ‘Let’s go.’
Harden had reportedly sustained the injury during a collision with the basketball support after being fouled by Spurs guard Brandon Paul. Since then, he has acknowledged that it may have attributed to his poor shooting percentage on Saturday.
Fortunately, the injury is not deemed to be serious as Harden seems to be adamant about playing through it. That said, perhaps a downtick in minutes could do him some well. Considering how dominant the Rockets have been all year, they can certainly pick up the slack, for the time being.