A day later, James Harden relented.
After lobbying the Nets to allow him to play Friday against the Hawks, the superstar guard will rest Sunday against the Pistons, the team announced Saturday.
Harden, known for rarely sitting when healthy, had logged major minutes in the first three games of a four-game road trip, playing 41:35 on Tuesday against the Mavericks, 39:19 on Wednesday in his return to Houston and 40:31 on Friday in Atlanta. The Nets rested Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge on Wednesday.
When asked why he pushed to play against the Hawks, Harden said, “I want to win, man. I don’t care about nothing else but winning.”
Before the game, coach Steve Nash said Harden basically forced his way into the lineup, but he was concerned about the toll of Harden playing such big minutes at the age of 32. He is averaging 36.2 minutes per game. Sunday will be the first contest he misses this season.
The Nets also said forward Paul Millsap will miss Sunday’s game due to personal reasons.