James Harden, Luka Doncic likely to return from injuries on Monday in Houston

Ben DuBose
·1 min read

A Texas showdown of the NBA’s top two teams from the Southwest Division last season seems likely to feature its two biggest stars.

Rockets star James Harden (sprained right ankle) and Mavericks star Luka Doncic (left quad contusion), who each missed the most recent game for their team due to injury, are listed as available and probable, respectively, on the league’s official injury report for Monday night.

Final confirmation on their playing status should come in pregame media sessions with Houston coach Stephen Silas and Dallas’ Rick Carlisle.

Harden and Doncic finished third and fourth, respectively, in MVP voting for the 2019-20 season. Both were named to the All-Star team and the All-NBA First Team following the season.

So far, Harden ranks first in the NBA in average points per game (37.0) and third in assists (11.0) during the young 2020-21 campaign. “The Beard” has led the NBA in scoring for each of the last three seasons.

Doncic is averaging 24.4 points and 6.4 assists per game, though he’s struggled at 16.1% on 3-pointers. By comparison, Harden has been far more efficient, shooting 52.5% overall and 45.5% on 3-pointers.

For the Rockets (2-2) and Mavs (2-4), though, the most important storyline is wins and losses — especially in what could be another tight divisional race. Thus, both teams appear set to have their franchise player return from injury in time for Monday’s showdown.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Central from Toyota Center in Houston.

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