James Harden out against Sacramento Kings with ankle injury

From Joseph Zucker of B/R:

Houston Rockets star James Harden will not play Saturday against the Sacramento Kings because of a sprained right ankle, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26.

While Harden has primarily made headlines for his reported trade request, he is off to another dominant start this season in Houston.

In three games for the 1-2 Rockets, the 2018 NBA MVP is averaging a league-best 37.0 points per game to go along with 11.0 assists and 5.3 rebounds.

Last season, Harden averaged a league-high 34.3 points per game—the third straight season in which he was first in scoring—while dishing out 7.5 assists per game. He also shot 44.4 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Nothing changed for the Rockets in the playoffs, though, as they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round.

There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the Rockets this season and beyond since it is unclear how much longer Harden will be on the roster.

Houston has some talent around James Harden, including John WallDeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood, but Harden is undoubtedly the face of the franchise and the player who makes the team go offensively.

Without Harden in the lineup Saturday, veteran Eric Gordon will get the start, per Berman.

Gordon is a talented offensive player, especially in terms of three-point shooting, but his skill set doesn’t compare to Harden’s.

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