James Harden Will Play for Nets vs. Bucks in Game 5 After Hamstring Injury Recovery

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 15, 2021

Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (hamstring) will play in Tuesday's Game 5 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

James Harden is AVAILABLE tonight. pic.twitter.com/jlikomFVL9

Wojnarowski previously reported Harden was "determined" to suit up.

Harden was previously listed as out with his hamstring injury. However, he was later upgraded to doubtful Tuesday morning before eventually being upgraded to questionable. 

He has not played since going down less than a minute into Game 1 of the series.

Wojnarowski reported Harden has been "determined" to get back in the lineup. He's expected to test the hamstring in the shootaround in Brooklyn before the Nets make a final determination. 

Kyrie Irving will miss Game 5 because of an ankle sprain.

"We definitely wasn't planning on not having our guys at this time," Kevin Durant told reporters. "But, we're all pros and we have to adapt to any situation. ... In the fifth game of a series, it's just like, 'All right, let's go play.' So, I think we all have that mentality and go forward and hoop."

Durant struggled with the Herculean task of propping up the Nets without Harden and Irving in Game 4, shooting 9-of-25 from the field (1-of-8 on three-pointers) and clearly running out of gas as the Bucks earned a 107-96 victory Sunday.

While the Nets looked like heavy favorites even with Harden on the sidelines, it'll be nearly impossible for Durant to win two of the last three games by himself. The Nets mortgaged their depth in trading for Harden, betting their three superstars would be enough to take down deeper teams when rotations shorten in the postseason.

Brooklyn is unfortunately seeing how precarious it can be with a top-heavy roster. Irving, Harden and Durant all missed stretches during the regular season, leading to the Big Three only playing eight games together before the playoffs. They seemed to catch a stride in a dominant first-round effort against the Boston Celtics before injuries once again put their season in danger. 


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