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Nets star James Harden re-injures right hamstring early in Game 1 against Bucks

Nets guard James Harden, right, walks off the

Nets guard James Harden, right, walks off the court past Kevin Durant (7) early in the first quarter of Game 1 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, June 5, 2021. Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

The injury bug that has marred the Nets’ entire season bit hard again in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night at Barclays Center. Just 43 seconds into the game, James Harden pulled up as he was driving to the basket and left the game after re-injuring his right hamstring.

Earlier this season, Harden strained his right hamstring, sat for two games and then tried to return. He lasted barely four minutes against the Knicks before reinjuring himself. Then, he missed the next 18 games before returning to play two games and then sitting out the regular-season finale as a precaution.

Harden is part of the Nets’ Big 3 along with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They only played eight games together during the regular season. But they played all five games of the Nets’ 4-1 first-round win over the Celtics and they averaged a combined 85.2 points per game in that series, which was an NBA playoff record for a trio.

The Nets said Harden was out for the remainder of Game 1 against the Bucks, and it won’t be surprising if he is absent for much longer given the fact of his re-injury.

New York Sports