James Harden will sit Tuesday against Spurs with thumb injury

Scott Halleran

This isn't ideal.

The Rockets won't have James Harden tonight when they face the San Antonio Spurs after the guard was diagnosed with a bruised left thumb, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Rockets are going for a season series victory against the Spurs, and, as Jonathan Feigen points out, no one plays better against the Spurs than Harden, who is averaging 30 points per game against them since joining the Rockets.

The Rockets haven't lost three games in a row all season, and they're in grave peril of doing just that after dropping a home-and-home against the Memphis Grizzlies last week. Jeremy Lin is likely to slide in next to Patrick Beverly in the starting lineup, as if the bench didn't have enough problems. Francisco Garcia's out, and Ronnie Brewer is day-to-day, Feigen reports.

The Rockets are 4-2 this year without Harden, and every time it's been Dwight Howard stepping up with monster games in the Rockets' victories. Gregg Popovich is a noted employer of Hack-a-Dwight, so hopefully Howard gets enough touches to find a rhythm and can hit 60 percent or more of his foul shots tonight. If he goes for 20-10 or better, the Rockets still have a good shot, especially without Kawhi Leonard to check Chandler Parsons, who needs a big game.

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