James Harden: Brooklyn Nets guard ruled out of Game 2 against Milwaukee Bucks due to hamstring injury

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden has been ruled out of Game 2 of the second-round playoff series against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks due to right hamstring tightness.

The Nets said they will provide further updates when appropriate. Harden was injured during the opening minute of Saturday’s 115-107 victory over the Bucks.

Harden appeared to sustain the injury while driving on the Bucks’ Jrue Holiday and passing the ball to team-mate Blake Griffin. He grabbed his right hamstring and gingerly walked up the floor. The Nets called a timeout 43 seconds into the game and subbed him out.

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Harden averaged 24.6 points, 10.9 assists and 8.5 rebounds on 47.1 per cent shooting in 36 regular-season games after being acquired from the Houston Rockets in mid-January. He also missed 18 games with a right hamstring injury before returning May 12.

Between injury setbacks and load management Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for just eight games together during the regular season.

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“Heartbroken for him that he had to miss the night,” Nets coach Steve Nash said after Game 1. “This guy was so ready and excited to play tonight. You know the preparation he puts in. You know how much he cares about the game, how much he cares about his team, so you never want to see that when someone gives everything they have towards this.”

Durant finished with 29 points on 12 of 25 shooting in the opening contest alongside 25 points and eight assists from Irving as both played upwards of 40 minutes. Joe Harris meanwhile supported with 19 points, Griffin had 18 points and 14 rebounds and Mike James contributed 12 points.

Milwaukee were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who posed 34 points on 16 of 24 shooting, Brook Lopez chipped in with 19 points, Jrue Holiday had 17 and Khris Middleton 13 alongside 13 rebounds.

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