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BC-BKN--Rockets-Harden Out

February 24, 2019
James Harden is sitting out the Houston Rockets’ game against the Golden State Warriors because of flu-like symptoms. While Harden also has a strained neck, coach Mike D’Antoni said the reigning MVP probably could have played through that. Harden hurt the neck when he got hit during practice and woke up sore the next day.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — James Harden is sitting out the Houston Rockets’ game against the Golden State Warriors because of flu-like symptoms.

While Harden also has a strained neck, coach Mike D’Antoni said the reigning MVP and league scoring leader probably could have played through that. Harden hurt the neck when he got hit during a practice leading up to Thursday night’s road loss to the Lakers and woke up sore the next day.

“He might’ve played even with a sore neck, he had a little touch of the flu. It was a combination of everything,” D’Antoni said.

In the Rockets’ last visit to Oracle Arena, Harden hit a contested 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left in a 135-134 overtime victory Jan. 3 in which he finished with a triple-double and his fifth straight 40-point game. He was 13 for 32 with 10 3s.

Harden, who missed three games in the season’s first month with a strained left hamstring, is averaging an NBA-best 36.5 points. Houston entered Saturday’s game 1-2 in games without him.

Also Saturday, Harden was fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing the officiating after the loss to the Lakers.

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