The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers played out arguably the best game of the season so far in an epic double-overtime clash.
It was the Rockets who eventually emerged with the win as they managed to secure a 148-142 victory at Toyota Center to exact revenge for a loss to the same opponents that ended their 14-game winning streak 11 days ago.
P.J. Tucker came up with the clutch plays at both ends of the floor to get the victory for Houston as he drained the game-winning bucket and managed to get a hand in to disrupt Kyle Kuzma's shot attempt in the Lakers' following possession.
It was a thrilling New Years Eve encounter but it ultimately came at a price for Houston as they suffered an injury blow to their superstar during the clash.
James Harden left the game in the fourth quarter with a strained left hamstring and did not return.
The injury occurred when he missed on a drive to the basket with 54 seconds left. The MVP candidate immediately left the game with 44 seconds left and was ruled out by the team in the second overtime.
The shooting guard had 40 points and 11 assists in a win that snapped their five-game losing streak.
'The Beard' said he felt his hamstring pull as he went up for a driving layup but hopes it won't keep him out for long.
"Hopefully it is not that serious, just a pull on the hammy," Harden said after the game, per ESPN. "Just got some treatment right now and hopefully, day to day, it gets better.
"But I'll be good. [It was concerning] especially [when] you don't know what it is or you have never experienced it before. Like I really can't run. If I am going to play.
"But I really couldn't run so let me go back here and see what is going on. We'll see. I think we don't play again until [Wednesday against Orlando]. … So I got a couple of days."
The durable All-Star rarely misses time with injuries and teammate Trevor Ariza says it'll be difficult to be out on the floor without him.
"If James misses time, it is going to be tough," forward Trevor Ariza said. "Since I have been here, he's been here, he has been on the court, he has been available. So for him to have to miss time [potentially], it would definitely be tough, definitely be an adjustment."
In his absence, Chris Paul took on the scoring load and put up 15 of his 28 points in the two overtime periods and he'll now need to shoulder the burden until his backcourt partner returns.