James Harden was a happy man on Friday night. Two days after he played poorly down the stretch versus the Houston Rockets, the 32-year-old put up a solid game as the Brooklyn Nets edged the Atlanta Hawks 113-105.
Harden made a couple of crucial late-game layups as the Nets managed to get a hard-fought road victory in Atlanta.
James Harden played a little over 40 minutes on the night as he put up 20 points, 11 assists and five rebounds against the Atlanta Hawks. It was his fourth consecutive game where he played 40 or more minutes for the Brooklyn Nets.
However, Harden isn’t worried about the heavy workload he has been carrying in recent matchups. He told reporters following the win against Atlanta:
“40 [minutes]. 3 times in a row. 40. I want to win man. I don’t care about nothing else but winning. I don’t care about nothing else. That’s all. I try to attack mode, try to find open players and just play the game the right way. Whatever it takes to win.”
James Harden and Kevin Durant logging heavy minutes for Brooklyn Nets this season
Kevin Durant played 38-plus minutes for his 31 points in the win against the Atlanta Hawks. He is averaging 36.3 mpg for the Brooklyn Nets in 2021-22.
That is the most minutes Durant has averaged since the 38.5 mpg he averaged for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2013-14 campaign, which was his MVP season.
Harden, meanwhile, is averaging 36.2 mpg in 26 games for the Brooklyn Nets. The most minutes that he has clocked this season is the 41:35 minutes of playing time he aggregated in Dallas on Tuesday.
Concerns about the heavy minutes being logged by both Harden and Durant had been addressed by the former when the Nets beat the Mavericks earlier in the week. Harden told the media following that game:
“One thing about me and KD, we love to play basketball. It don’t matter. We can play whole 48, you know we exhausted…we want to stay in the game. We want to play. Steve [Nash] has been in that position before so he kinda knows and got a feeling for the game. When it’s go time, you got to put your big dogs out there to go win the game. Simple.”
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