February 23, 2019 / 3:10 AM / 2 months ago

NBA notebook: Harden dealing with neck injury

All-Star guard James Harden is listed as questionable for the Houston Rockets’ Saturday road game against the Golden State Warriors because of a cervical neck strain.

February 21, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Harden was bothered by soreness Thursday during the Rockets’ 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was seen receiving treatment to the neck and right shoulder during the contest.

The ailment didn’t stop Harden from scoring 30 points to post his 32nd consecutive 30-point effort, the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain’s 65-game run. Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, is averaging a league-leading 36.5 points this season.

—Rookie star Luka Doncic was ruled out of the Dallas Mavericks’ Friday home game against the Denver Nuggets due to a sore right ankle.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said before the game that the injury is not expected to be serious, and that Doncic is listed as day-to-day. The 19-year-old Slovenian is averaging 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. He leads the league’s rookies in scoring and is second in both rebounds and assists.

Dallas, which returned from the All-Star break Friday, next heads on the road for two games, Saturday against the Utah Jazz and Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

—Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns missed the first game of his career and is in the NBA’s concussion protocol after he was involved in a minor car accident on Thursday.

Minnesota interim coach Ryan Saunders told the assembled media in his pregame session prior to a Friday road game against the New York Knicks that Towns was back at the team hotel getting rest. Towns missed the team’s shootaround earlier Friday.

Saunders told reporters at the shootaround that Towns was involved in an accident in the Minneapolis area while driving to the airport on Thursday to catch the team’s flight to New York. The accident led to the two-time All-Star missing the flight. Towns later took a commercial flight to New York.

—Field Level Media

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