James Harden Injury Diagnosed as Hamstring Strain; Out at Least 2 Weeks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 31:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets claps on the bench in the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Toyota Center on December 31, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets announced Monday that guard James Harden was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, and added that he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Harden suffered the injury during Sunday's 148-142 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Harden finished the victory with 40 points and 11 assists, helping Houston snap a five-game losing streak.

The five-time All-Star is enjoying an MVP-caliber season by averaging a league-leading 32.3 points per game to go along with 9.1 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals.

Houston is second in the Western Conference with a 26-9 record, and it entered play Monday trailing the Golden State Warriors by two games for the No. 1 seed.

Harden has been one of the NBA's biggest iron men in recent years, missing only two games from 2014-15 through 2016-17.

He has yet to miss a contest this season, but the Rockets will be forced to play at least six or seven games without him based on the timeline for his re-evaluation.

While Harden is on the shelf, the Rockets may be compelled to thrust reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon into a starting role, although he is already averaging 32.5 minutes per game.

There will also be a greater offensive burden on point guard Chris Paul, and the likes of Bobby Brown and the recently acquired Gerald Green should see more consistent playing time as well.

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