The Brooklyn Nets are concerned about the potential availability of superstar guard James Harden after Harden exited Game 1 of the Nets’ Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Milwaukee Bucks just 43 seconds into Brooklyn’s 115-107 victory, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Harden suffered a hamstring injury driving to the hoop on Bucks guard Jrue Holiday. Harden then limped to the locker room and would not return.
“You know we got a lot thrown at us this year, so we were, in a sense, well trained for this event,” Nets coach Steve Nash said after Game 1. “But you never want to see that for someone like James, who is such an important player and such an incredible player and cares so much.
“I’m heartbroken for him. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if he’s playing the next game, if he’s out. I have no idea. But I’m heartbroken for him that he had to miss tonight.”
The Nets are awaiting the results of an MRI that Harden underwent.
“I didn’t realize what had happened until he had started walking off the court, but we supposed to run [a] play and he wasn’t in his spot, and I looked at him, he was grimacing,” Nets forward Kevin Durant said. “It just sucks. It sucks. 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. It sucks. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Keep him involved as much as possible. It’s just a bad break.”
“I mean, it’s never easy to lose anybody, especially this time of the year where we just wanna have fun playing basketball and playing the right way and competing at a high level,” Nets guard Kyrie Irving added. “We’re obviously out there for bigger reasons, so when you see the game snatched away so early from one of our brothers, we feel for him, and we just had to make a quick adjustment and just adjust from there.
“That’s the best thing we can do. We just came in the huddle, made sure that everybody on the bench knew kind of the situation we were in, and like I said, we just played out from there. It went our way tonight, but obviously, we’re gonna feel his loss no matter what.”
With Harden out, the Nets got a solid performance from Blake Griffin, who poured in 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 dimes in just 35 minutes of action.