Harden out for Game 2 with hamstring tightness

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NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets star guard James Harden is out for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday with what the team is calling “right hamstring tightness.”

The Nets currently lead the series 1-0 despite losing Harden less than one minute into the series opener on Saturday night.

The play that Harden appeared to injure himself on was fairly unremarkable — a simple drive against Bucks guard Jrue Holiday. But when he lobbed a pass, Harden landed and came away from the play grabbing his right hamstring. Harden eventually left the court and struggled as he walked back to the Nets’ locker room.

A team spokesperson told ESPN that Harden left the arena shortly afterward to go get an MRI on his hamstring.

“I didn’t realize what had happened until he had started walking off the court but we supposed to run a play and he wasn’t in his spot and I looked at him, he was grimacing,” Kevin Durant said on Saturday. “It just sucks. It sucks. It sucks because I want him to be out there.

“I know how much he cares. I know how much he wants to be in this moment. It sucks. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Keep him involved as much as possible. It’s just a bad break.”

Harden missed over a month with a right hamstring strain during the regular season. At first, he missed two games in April with hamstring tightness. He came back and played five minutes in a game on April 5 before leaving with the hamstring strain, and ultimately missed the next 18 games.

Harden participated in the Nets’ film session Sunday, teammate Joe Harris said.

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