James Harden to miss Rockets' next two games with hamstring injury

James Harden’s will miss at least two games with a hamstring injury, the Houston Rockets have confirmed.

Harden was hurt in the closing stages of the Rockets’ 100-89 loss against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night after scoring 29 points.

Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said on Thursday that the issue was “probably closer to a strain than just tightness”, comments which came before Harden had an MRI on the injury.

That scan has confirmed a strain, which will mean Harden missing home games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.

He will be re-assessed before Houston head off on a five-game road trip which begins on November 2 in Brooklyn.

Harden played down the injury after Wednesday’s game, saying it was nothing like as serious as the one which cost him seven games in January during his 2017-18 MVP season.

“It’s nothing serious. Nothing serious,” he said. “It’s not close to last year. Just being cautious.”

With James Ennis III also sidelined by a hamstring issue, D’Antoni is considering a first start for off-season acquisition Carmelo Anthony against the Clippers.

Point guard Chris Paul will be back after his two-game suspension as the Rockets look to battle back from a 1-3 start against the 2-2 Clippers at Houston’s Toyota Center.

Paul was banned for his part in a brawl against the Los Angeles Lakers last weekend, during which it was claimed Rajon Rondo had spat at him.

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