James Harden left lower than a minute into Sport 1 of the Jap Convention semi-finals on Saturday night time with a proper hamstring damage, probably dealing an enormous blow to Brooklyn’s championship hopes.
Harden appeared to seize on the hamstring on a drive to the basket on Brooklyn’s first possession in opposition to Milwaukee. The Nets known as a timeout 43 seconds into the sport and Harden went to the locker room.
The Nets introduced after the primary quarter that he would not return to the sport.
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Harden missed 20 video games due to issues with the identical hamstring within the second half of the season, together with a pair of losses to Milwaukee in Could. However he was wholesome in time for the playoffs after he, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had been capable of play collectively simply eight occasions throughout the common season.
Regardless of Harden’s early exit, the Nets recorded a 115-107 victory to take a 1-0 lead within the best-of-seven sequence.
“You already know we acquired loads thrown at us this yr, so we had been, in a way, effectively skilled for this occasion,” Nets coach Steve Nash stated after the sport. “However you by no means wish to see that for somebody like James, who’s such an vital participant and such an unimaginable participant and cares a lot.
“I am heartbroken for him. I do not know what is going on to occur. I do not know if he is taking part in the following sport, if he is out. I don’t know. However I am heartbroken for him that he needed to miss tonight.”
The play the damage occurred on was innocuous – a easy drive in opposition to Bucks guard Jrue Vacation. However after Harden lofted a move to the alternative nook, he landed and instantly grabbed at his proper hamstring. Then, when play stopped after a few extra journeys up the courtroom, Harden simply walked off the courtroom and straight into the locker room.
A crew spokesperson later informed ESPN that he went to get an MRI – outcomes the Nets had been nonetheless ready for postgame.
“I did not realise what had occurred till he had began strolling off the courtroom, however we purported to run [a] play and he wasn’t in his spot and I checked out him, he was grimacing,” stated Kevin Durant, who had 29 factors and 10 rebounds to guide the Nets to the win. “It simply sucks. It sucks. It sucks as a result of I would like him to be on the market.
“I understand how a lot he cares. I understand how a lot he needs to be on this second. It sucks. Wishing him a speedy restoration. Preserve him concerned as a lot as attainable. It is only a unhealthy break.”