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Rockets’ James Harden Admits Dealing With Ankle Issue After Game 4

Superstar guard James Harden has gotten his Houston Rockets within one game of advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Harden and company were able to come out with a win in Game 4 on Sunday against Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder and now have a commanding 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5 back home at Toyota Center on Tuesday.

Although the Rockets are cruising and seem bound for the next round, Harden has been dealing with an ankle issue that he’s kept quiet, according to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins:

Houston Rockets star guard James Harden said he has been hobbled by an ankle injury that occurred in Game 3 of this first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden talked about the injury after struggling in Game 4, via Watkins:

“It was pretty tough; we don’t make excuses,” Harden said in a news conference when asked about his health. “We just try to go out there and get the job done. You build trust, and trust in your teammates all year long. When there’s moments like this, guys step up and they did tonight. We have another opportunity in a few days to go out there and win on our home court, and we’re going to have to get off to a really good start.”

Westbrook, as per usual, finished with a triple-double in Sunday’s game. The Thunder star scored a game-high 35 points to go along with 14 assists and 14 rebounds. Despite another impressive performance from the fellow MVP candidate, Harden’s teammates proved to be too much to handle with the second unit coming up big.

Center Nene Hilario had a solid effort off the bench with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Hilario didn’t miss a shot from the field going a perfect 12-for-12.

Harden, however, finished with 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds. Although still an impressive stat line, Harden also had seven turnovers.

Regardless of Harden’s struggles as he battles with an ankle injury, the Rockets will have a series-clinching situation on their home floor on Tuesday with Westbrook trying to hold onto hope he can extend the season for his team.

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