Nets’ James Harden exits with hamstring injury in Game 1 win vs. Bucks
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden left 43 seconds into Game 1 of their 115-107 Eastern Conference semifinal win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday with a right hamstring injury and did not return.
Harden left the arena to get an MRI, The Athletic confirmed. Coach Steve Nash had no update on the results after the game.
Game 2 is Monday in Brooklyn.
"This guy was so ready and excited to play tonight, and 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," Nash said.
Harden walked to the locker room with 11:17 remaining the first quarter after pulling up and grabbing at his right hamstring on a drive against Bucks guard Jrue Holiday. Harden missed 21 games this season due to the hamstring injury, including 18 consecutive games from April 7 to May 11. The Nets went 12-11 when Harden sat out this season.
Harden averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game in the Nets' first-round series against the Celtics.
"This shit sucks," Nets forward Kevin Durant said. "It sucks because I want him to be out there. I know how much he cares. I know how much he wants to be in this moment. I wish him a speedy recovery. We're going to keep him involved as much as possible, but … it's just a bad break."
On Saturday, Durant scored 29 points, Kyrie Irving had 25 and Blake Griffin had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets. The Bucks shot 6 of 30 from 3-point range, while the Nets made 15 3s, including 11 combined from Griffin, Joe Harris (19 points) and Mike James (12 points).
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks.