Harden hopes strained hamstring 'not that serious'
Houston Rockets star guard James Harden hopes the hamstring injury that forced his exit in the fourth quarter of their double-overtme win over the Los Angeles Lakers is not as serious as first feared.
Harden, who had 40 points and 11 assists, was injured with less than a minute to play in regulation, coming up limping and dragging his left leg after a drive to the basket.
Reports suggested the 28-year-old was limping noticeably in the locker room after the 148-142 win that snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak.
However, he remained positive that the strain will not keep him out of the side for long.
"Hopefully it is not that serious, just a pull on the hammy," Harden said.
"Just got some treatment right now and hopefully, day to day, it gets better. But I'll be good.
"We'll see. I think we don't play again until [Wednesday against Orlando] ... so I got a couple of days."
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said it's too early to determine the severity of Harden's injury: "I don't think we'll know until [Monday]. I don't think they'll be able to assess it until [Monday] morning."
The injury threatens Harden's ironman status. He has missed two regular-season games over the previous three seasons combined and has played in all 35 games this season.
"If James misses time, it is going to be tough," forward Trevor Ariza said. "Since I have been here, he's been here, he has been on the court, he has been available. So for him to have to miss time, it would definitely be tough, definitely be an adjustment."
Still, Harden already was on the Rockets' injury report with a bruised right foot, listed as questionable to play against the Lakers.
He was treated on Thursday after the Rockets' game in Boston but played 29 minutes the next night in Washington before he sat out the entire fourth quarter in a Wizards blowout.
Harden matched his season low of 20 points against the Wizards but bounced back Sunday before the injury, giving him at least 20 points in every game this season.