NEW YORK -- James Harden was ruled out of the Brooklyn Nets' game against the Houston Rockets after the third quarter Wednesday night because of right hamstring tightness.
Harden played 27 minutes through the first three quarters and finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Nets came from behind to beat the Rockets 120-108 and now sit atop the Eastern Conference.
After the game, coach Steve Nash said the Nets will see how Harden feels Thursday before their game against the Charlotte Hornets, but was confident the All-Star guard didn't have a long-term injury.
Brooklyn was already playing without Kevin Durant, Landry Shamet and LaMarcus Aldridge on Wednesday night. The Nets trailed the Rockets by as many as 18 points in the first quarter before rallying to take the lead in the fourth.
Harden, who has catapulted into the MVP race, is averaging 26.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 11.4 assists.
"Any time someone goes down it's very concerning,'' said Kyrie Irving, who had 31 points and a season-high 12 assists against Houston. "Any time someone doesn't play we definitely have to have that mentality that we're still going to play at a very high level.''
At 33-15, Brooklyn is a half-game ahead of Philadelphia atop the East. It's the latest the Nets have led the East since they were 49-31 on April 13, 2003, according to Elias Sports Bureau.