Houston Rockets guard James Harden briefly left game two Tuesday night after accidentally being hit in the eye by Golden State’s Draymond Green while the two fought for an offensive rebound. During the scuffle Harden suffered a laceration to his left eyelid.
The 2017-18 NBA MVP left the game with 6:27 left in the first quarter and re-entered with 7:09 left in the first half. Somehow, Harden fared better after the injury, scoring all 12 of his first-half points in the second quarter.
After the game Harden’s eyes were especially sensitive to light. He squinted and shielded his eyes repeatedly during the game and throughout his postgame news conference, saying he “can barely see.”
“It’s pretty blurry right now,” Harden told reporters. “Hopefully it gets better day by day.”
“He got raked pretty good in the eyes, but that’s him,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I mean, I didn’t have a doubt that he was coming back unless it was something catastrophic. I’m sure he would have loved to play better. Under the circumstances, I thought he played great.”
Harden’s issues with his vision didn’t seem to affect his performance. He actually had his highest field goal percentage of this postseason (9-of-19, 47.4 percent) despite missing his first three shots before suffering the injury.
Golden State leads the second-round best-of-seven playoff series 2-0.