NEW YORK – Brooklyn Nets star James Harden played just four minutes before he was ruled out for the remainder of Monday night’s game against the New York Knicks due to a strain on his right hamstring.
Harden’s brief comeback came after he missed the Nets’ last two games while dealing with the same tension.
Before the game, Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said Harden would not be on a minute restriction and that the team would monitor him throughout the night.
“We definitely don’t want to wear it down,” Nash said before the start. “So we will do our best, which is very difficult at times. We will try to limit his minutes if we have the opportunity.”
Nash reiterated that the images on Harden’s hamstring revealed no structural damage, so the team looked at him and his coaching staff to decide when he felt good enough to play.
“I think he’s in a position where there was fatigue,” Nash said. “And the scan was clear, and he completed some workouts and feels good.”
The Nets were already out of Blake Griffin (injury maintenance), Kevin Durant (hamstring strain), Tyler Johnson (knee pain) and Landry Shamet (ankle sprain). Nash said he does not anticipate playing Griffin in both halves of the remaining consecutive games.
Harden, a favorite for the league MVP, is averaging 26.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 11.2 assists for the Nets.