There was a little lump in every Rockets fans' throat after the news that James Harden was questionable tonight against the Nets with sprained ankle. Harden was stepped on by Clippers guard Chris Paul driving to the basket. Harden finished the game and the Clippers, winning 110-105.
The Rockets' message has always been "next man up", but it would be hard to replace Harden's MVP-caliber play this season. The beard is averaging 27.2 points, 6.9 assist, and 5.8 rebounds per game. Harden was able to anticipate in shootaround today. Coach McHale has announced that Harden and Patrick Beverley will be in the lineup:
McHale believes both James Harden (ankle) & Patrick Beverley (flu-like symptoms) will play (and start) tonight.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 27, 2015
McHale has no plans to limit Harden's minutes tonight but will keep an eye on his ankle and make adjustments if he shows signs of pain.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 27, 2015
Beverley has missed the Rockets' last two game with flu-like symptoms. In his stead, Jason Terry (30 mins per game) and Pablo Prigioni (17 mins per game) split time at point guard. The Rockets were 2-0 during that stretch, defeating the Timberwolves and previously mentioned Clippers.
Rockets and Nets tip at 7:00 PM central time on Root Sports SW.