Harden out vs. Spurs w/ bruised thumb

Harden out vs. Spurs w/ bruised thumb
January 28, 2014, 3:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

The Houston Rockets will be without James Harden for the seventh time this season when they host the Spurs on Tuesday night. Harden will miss the game with a bruised left thumb, he injured during the Rockets 99-81 loss at Memphis on Saturday.

Harden gave no indication about the injury preventing him from playing following Tuesday morning's normal shoot around.

Francisco Garcia (knee) won't play on Tuesday. Ronnie Brewer went through Monday's practice and the morning shoot-around, so he'll likely be available.

About 10 minutes into Saturday night's game against Memphis, Harden was hit in the left hand by Tayshaun Prince on a jumper, which apparently caused an injury to his thumb on his shooting hand. He left the game just a few seconds later and after trainer Keith Jones looked at it, he iced it while on the bench. He returned to the game early in the second quarter and was able to play nearly 24 more minutes, finishing the game as the Rockets leading scorer with 16 points.

Houston is 4-2 in the previous six games Harden has missed with various injuries. Guard Jeremy Lin is likely to take his spot in the starting lineup. Houston is 15-7 in games Lin has started. That's the best winning percentage any individual player has on the team, among players with at least three starts. Lin started against the Spurs on Christmas day with Pat Beverley hurt and scored 13 points with eight assists. His (plus-24) plus/minus rating was best on the team that night.