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James Harden Ruled Out for Nets vs. Knicks with Hamstring Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 5, 2021

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden exited Monday's game against the New York Knicks with hamstring tightness.

Nets coach Steve Nash said after the game that Harden's strength tests came back normal but the team is opting to take the cautious approach (starting at the 1:00 mark):

Nash noted he was not sure if the injury would linger, adding that there were no indications it would be a long-term issue.

Harden was scoreless on 0-of-1 shooting in four minutes of action, logging three assists and one rebound. The Harden-less Nets used a second-half rally to pull out a 114-112 victory.

Harden, 31, entered the home game averaging 25.9 points and 11.1 assists per game this season for the Nets and Houston Rockets, who traded the NBA MVP candidate to Brooklyn in January.

The Beard has been sensational for Brooklyn, helping propel the team to a 34-16 record, good enough for a tie for first with the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference.

Harden has been an instrumental part of this team in light of fellow superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving each missing stretches for various reasons, including injuries and personal matters (the latter in Irving's case). Harden, Durant and Irving have only started six games together.

Harden has sat one game each because of a left thigh contusion and a sore neck. He also missed time with right hamstring tightness, which forced him to leave his team's 120-108 win over the Houston Rockets early on March 31.

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The Nets are NBA title contenders with Harden running the show as the de facto point guard and Irving in the backcourt alongside him.

Without Harden, the Nets should turn to Irving to handle the ball and assume more usage. Bruce Brown could also see more ball-handling responsibilities.