AP NEWS

Harden scratched from Rockets’ lineup vs. Pelicans

December 30, 2019 GMT
Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, shoots as Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, shoots as Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (12) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — James Harden has been scratched from the Houston Rockets’ lineup Sunday night against the recently surging New Orleans Pelicans.

Harden had been listed as questionable with a right toe sprain after scoring 44 points in Houston’s 108-98 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. Harden also has knee swelling stemming from a collision in that game, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said.

D’Antoni said Harden, who has yet to miss a game this season, probably could play through the pain, “but given the circumstances, it’s better that he doesn’t. He’s banged up a little bit and it’s better that he sits.”

That left Houston without three prominent players against a Pelicans squad that has won three straight and four of five.

Guard Russell Westbrook already was scheduled to sit out for rest and center Clint Capela was out with a right heel bruise.

Returning to the Rockets’ lineup is former New Orleans guard Eric Gordon, who has been out since having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-November. He’ll start alongside Pelicans 2012 first-round draft choice Austin Rivers in Houston’s back court.

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