James Harden injury: Rockets star reportedly expected to play vs. Celtics

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James Harden is questionable for Thursday night's much-anticipated matchup against the Boston Celtics with a calf injury, but it sounds like the Houston Rockets star is going to suit up.

ESPN's Tim McMahon reported the latest update on the reigning NBA MVP's injury status, and it's an encouraging one for the Rockets.

Harden has scored 30-plus points in seven consecutive games, and he'll likely need to extend that streak for the Rockets to beat a very good defensive team in the Celtics. Making matters worse for Harden is the absence of Houston point guard Chris Paul, who's dealing with a hamstring injury.

The Celtics actually have done a nice job defending Harden since he entered the league in 2009. He's averaging 19 points and shooting just 37 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range in 18 career games against Boston. 

Celtics guard Marcus Smart likely will receive the majority of the minutes on Harden.  

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