Harden hurt in Rockets’ double-OT win vs. Lakers

High-scoring guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets suffered a strained left hamstring late in the fourth quarter of 148-142 double-overtime triumph over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night and did not return.

After missing on a drive to the bucket with 54 seconds remaining in regulation, came up gimpy, dragging his left leg as he got to his feet. Harden left the game with 44 seconds on the clock and did not return.

Despite missing both overtime sessions, Harden piled up 40 points and handed out 11 assists in 41 minutes for Houston (26-9).

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters after the game it’s too early to tell the extent or severity of Harden’s injury.

“I don’t think we’ll know (more) until [Monday],” D’Antoni said of his All-Star guard, who said earlier this month that he had been playing despite suffering from a bruised right knee. “I don’t think they’ll be able to assess it until (Monday) morning.”

Houston’s Chris Paul, who carried the water for Houston in Harden’s stead, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the two overtime periods and added 10 assists, admitted losing Harden to injury made things more difficult for the Rockets, who trailed for much of the game during regulation.

“Yeah, we lost our horse,” Paul said.

Trevor Ariza was next in line for Houston behind Harden and Paul with 26 points, while Eric Gordon (14) and Gerald Green (10) reached double figures off the bench.

Julius Randle led the struggling Lakers (11-24) with 29 points and 15 boards before fouling out, while rookies Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma had 26 and 23 points, respectively. Tyler Ennis had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Brandon Ingram chipped in with 12 points.

Los Angeles sits at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and has the second-worst record in the NBA, ahead of only 10-26 Atlanta.