Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and guard Chris Paul remained relaxed over an injury scare for James Harden in their victory Friday over the 76ers.
Harden briefly exited Friday’s game during the first half after landing heavily on his right wrist, which was already sore from previous falls.
The MVP candidate, who leads the NBA in scoring at 36.6 points per game, was able to return and contributed 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in an emphatic 107-91 win.
James Harden vs. Jimmy Butler 😳 pic.twitter.com/wWS46TH1fp
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) March 9, 2019
After the game, Harden reportedly had a precautionary X-ray on his injured wrist, but neither D’Antoni nor Paul appeared too concerned by the issue when they addressed the media.
Asked if his heart had skipped a beat when Harden hit the floor, D’Antoni said: “Oh yeah. Well, it always does. But he’s a pretty tough guy.
“[He’s] dealing with pain [in the wrist], I guess. I don’t know, he just fell on it. He’s fallen on it before and is sore, so there was some pain there and then this just aggravated it.”
Paul told reporters: “The way he plays, he’s always hitting the ground, whether it’s a foul or just contact or whatnot, so we trusted that he was going [to] be all right.
“If he needs to take a game or two off, we got it. But we need him.”
Houston has won seven games in a row to climb into third in the Western Conference, five games behind leader Golden State. The Rockets next play Sunday at Dallas.