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No ‘Big Three’ vs Blazers: James Harden out with left knee hyperextension; expected back vs Bulls

San Antonio Spurs v Brooklyn Nets Photo by David L. Nemec/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets have ruled James Harden out for Monday night’s game against the Trail Blazers due to a left knee hyperextension. The late scratch marks the fifth game the superstar guard will miss this season.

The Nets did not initially provide details in their updated guidance on who’s available but Steve Nash told the media pre-game that he expects Harden back Wednesday when the Nets face the Bulls in Chicago.

Following the Nets’ 121-119 win against the Spurs Sunday afternoon, Steve Nash said he expected all of his available players to travel and play in the cross-country back-to-back game. From Portland, the Nets travel halfway back across the country to Chicago, then home for a game Thursday vs. the Thunder.

Harden recorded his 22nd double-double of the season (26 points, seven rebounds, and 12 assists in a game-high 44 minutes) in Sunday afternoon’s victory. The team is 14-4 this season when Harden scores 20+ points.

Brooklyn has a tough stretch of games ahead, which includes 13 of the next 18 games on the road. In that stretch, the Nets have three pairs of back-to-backs (including Monday night). The team has thrived on the road, posting a league-best 14-3 record, and have recently added their superstar guard, Kyrie Irving who can only play in road contests.

Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets will also be without LaMarcus Aldridge Monday night against the Trail Blazers. The absence of Aldridge marks the second game the veteran big will miss due to right foot soreness. The Nets head coach recently referenced Aldridge’s injury as irritation that needed rest and didn’t view the injury as a long-term worry.