Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden to miss third straight game with hamstring injury amid trade rumors

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets shooting guard James Harden will not play against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night because of a left hamstring injury, he told ESPN after Tuesday’s shootaround; It will be the third straight game Harden has missed due to injury, and it’s not yet clear when he’ll be able to return to the court.

Harden declined to comment on anything other than his playing status as he left Barclays Center after the Nets’ morning drive. Harden’s name continues to be thrown around in trade rumors as Thursday’s 3 ET deadline approaches, but Nets coach Steve Nash made it clear before Sunday’s game against the Utah Jazz that the The Nets wouldn’t trade Harden.

Veteran Patty Mills said she wasn’t sure if the speculation was “distracting” Harden or not, but questions remain about a team that enters Tuesday’s game on an eight-game losing streak.

“I think what he’s trying to do right now is take care of his hamstring and heal,” Mills said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “Do everything in his power to make sure he’s healthy.”

The Nets are already playing without Kevin Durant (MCL), LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle), Joe Harris (ankle) and Kyrie Irving, who cannot play at home due to New York City’s vaccination requirement. The Nets announced that Nic Claxton (left hamstring) would play against the Celtics after missing Sunday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.

“I’m not sure how long he’s going to be out,” Nets forward DeAndre’ Bembry said of Harden. “But for sure he’s getting better with time. Obviously we need him, but it’s the next guy’s mindset.”

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