Brooklyn Nets star guard James Harden didn't want to sit out Game 5 versus the Milwaukee Bucks despite being announced as out for Game 5 on Monday. Harden, who suffered a hamstring injury in Game 1 versus the Bucks, returned to the court on Tuesday night and his Nets won 114-108 to take a 3-2 lead.
"[I] woke up and was like, 'You know what? Let's go,'" Harden said after finishing with five points in 46 minutes in Brooklyn's 114-108 victory over Milwaukee on Tuesday night as the Nets took a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series.
"I tried to go out there and do the best I can. Hopefully I gave my teammates some encouragement, some life." Kevin Durant praised Harden for deciding to suit up and play. "I mean, it just shows how much he loves to play," said Durant, who finished with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists.
"I was a little nervous for him because he hasn't played in a while and that's a physical team and his hamstring is one of those injuries that takes a while to heal. But he came out there and toughed it out, had eight assists and six rebounds.
"He missed some good looks all night. I know his legs are going to get back under him as time [goes] the next few days or so. Hopefully, next game he'll start to knock some of those shots he usually makes down. "We've got our work cut out for us in Game 6, man.
It's going to be our toughest game of the year."
Harden feels 'great'
"I feel great," Harden said. "We won. So that's all that matters. At this point it's, by any means necessary. As long as there's a 'W' in that column and we keep racking up wins, that's all that matters.
"It's a great team win for us. We haven't really been together the entire year we've dealt with so many injuries or what not that we haven't had an opportunity or been through adversity. So we know that there was gonna be times in the postseason where we hit adversity where things feel like they're up against us and they can't be done.
In reality they can be done. We just gotta find ways to get them done. "It feels like just when things are going well something hits us. My approach to the guys is keep fighting. It's going to be great on the other side and we did that tonight. So, proud of the guys."