Harden Impresses on Nets Return, Lakers' Rivals All Win

Harden Impresses on Nets Return, Lakers' Rivals All Win Photo: TT
Brooklyn Nets' James Harden, right, drives past San Antonio Spurs' Devin Vassell during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday

James Harden marked his comeback from injury with 18 points in the Brooklyn Nets’ 128-116 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

The Nets win keeps them in the hunt for top seeding in the Eastern Conference, moving to a 26-24 record, marginally behind the Philadelphia 76ers on 47-22.

Harden, who missed a big chunk of the past six weeks with a hamstring injury, returned with 26 minutes for Brooklyn.

The shooting guard finished the match with 18 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists, with Landry Shamet top scoring with 21 points.

Kyrie Irving was absent after copping an elbow to the face against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

Harden’s contribution came off the bench, taking on that role for the first time since 2012.

“I wanted to get out there and just be on the court, let them feel my presence and also get my conditioning and my wind back up, and be effective on both ends of the ball for an extended period of the game,” Harden said.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Lakers claimed an important 124-122 win over the Houston Rockets, with LeBron James still unavailable.

Talen Horton-Tucker added 23 points and had 10 assists for the Lakers, while Andre Drummond had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

But the Lakers’ win failed to see them move outside the seventh-tenth ranks, which equates to the play-in tournament, as the Portland Trail Blazers managed a 105-98 win over the Utah Jazz.

Damian Lillard scored 30 points for the Blazers, with CJ McCollum adding 26 points. Jusuf Nurkic had 15 rebounds and made 11 points.

The Dallas Mavericks also held the Lakers at bay with a 125-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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