Basketball

Harden focused on Rockets' comeback despite eye injury

Houston Rockets star James Harden, who suffered a lacerated left eyelid in the Rockets' NBA play-off loss to the Golden State Warriors yesterday morning (Singapore time), is hoping three days of rest will have him seeing clearly for their next encounter.

"It's pretty blurry right now," said Harden, who was swiped in the face by the Warriors' Draymond Green as they battled for a rebound in the first quarter of Golden State's 115-109 victory.

"Hopefully, it gets better day by day," added Harden, whose Rockets host game three of the best-of-seven second-round Western Conference series on Sunday morning, aiming to overcome a 2-0 deficit.

Harden returned after receiving treatment - including drops to numb pain in his eyes - and led the Rockets with 29 points.

But despite the drops, he could be seen squinting and grimacing in the bright lights.

"He got raked pretty good in the eyes," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

"But that's him - I didn't have a doubt he was coming back unless it was something catastrophic."

It certainly looked bad enough as Harden dropped to the court and stayed there - a hand to his eyes - until the Rockets called a timeout so he could get medical treatment.

Green spoke to Harden as he departed the court with a compress on his face, saying he just wanted to check on Harden after the inadvertent contact.

"It's not about hurting anyone out here," Green said.

CURRY HURTS FINGER

"A lot of people forget when a guy has an injury, you live that every second of every day and it's not just about this game. So if his eye is messed up, he's got to live that every day, so I wanted to check on the guy."

Before Harden's mishap, Warriors star Stephen Curry also sustained an injury.

He dislocated the middle finger on his left hand early in the game, but still managed 20 points.

For the second game in a row, all five Warriors starters scored in double figures. Kevin Durant led with 29 points, Klay Thompson added 21, while Andre Iguodala had 16.

Green had another outstanding all-around game with 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. - AFP, REUTERS

Basketball