Sixers' James Harden and P.J. Tucker questionable for meeting with Bulls
Harden, Tucker listed as questionable for second leg of Bulls mini-series originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Sixers listed James Harden as questionable because of left Achilles soreness ahead of their meeting with the Bulls on Wednesday night in Chicago.
Harden rose gingerly after hitting the floor on a drive (and not getting a foul call he felt he deserved) late in the second quarter of the Sixers’ double-overtime loss Monday at Wells Fargo Center to the Bulls.
Though Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame that Harden was “hurting a little bit,” he kept the 33-year-old in for the entire game and played him nearly 47 minutes. Harden shot 2 for 14 from the floor, posting his worst single-game field goal percentage as a Sixer (14.3 percent) and his worst game score (2.4). He’s had a difficult time overall this season against Chicago, hitting just 8 of 44 field goals and 3 of 20 three-point attempts over three matchups.
Harden sat out for approximately a month earlier this season after suffering a right foot tendon strain. Since returning on Dec. 5, Harden has played in 44 of the Sixers’ 48 games and averaged 37.0 minutes. He’s posted 21.3 points and 11.0 assists per contest, helping the Sixers to an NBA-best 36-12 mark during that stretch. Despite not being an All-Star this year, Harden has built a strong All-NBA case for himself.
The Sixers also listed P.J. Tucker as questionable with left ankle soreness. He’s missed the past two games and Danuel House Jr. has started in his place. De’Anthony Melton closed Monday’s game and played 39 minutes, his most of the calendar year. He was a bright spot for the Sixers, recording 19 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Though Rivers cut Jalen McDaniels’ night short Monday, the 25-year-old did not appear on the Sixers’ Tuesday night injury report. McDaniels hasn’t looked fully healthy in the team’s last two games after missing the prior two because of a right hip contusion.
“He didn’t look good,” Rivers said. “That’s why I took him out. He wasn’t moving well, so we took him off the floor.”
The Bulls listed Javonte Green (right knee) as probable and Alex Caruso (left foot sprain) as questionable.
Green was on a minutes restriction Monday, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said pregame, and ended up playing only nine minutes. Caruso was out and Chicago leaned heavily on Zach LaVine (47 minutes), DeMar DeRozan (46 minutes), Nikola Vucevic (46) and Patrick Beverley (40).
Wednesday’s game is the first of a four-game road trip for the 48-23 Sixers; the Warriors, Suns and Nuggets will be up next. With 11 contests left, the team has the NBA’s most difficult remaining strength of schedule, per Tankathon.