James Harden Kevin Durant
Photo: AP/Kathy Willens

James Harden decided to return for the Nets in Game 5 of the series vs the Milwaukee Bucks, even though the team announced Monday that he will sit.

Harden witnessed Kevin Durant’s masterful performance that led the Nets over the Bucks despite playing through a hamstring injury that made him missed the last three games of his team.

Kevin Durant had nothing but praise for Harden after seeing him stepping on the floor and helping the Nets in whatever way he could for the Nets to secure an important victory.

(via Malika Andrews of ESPN):

“I mean, it just shows how much he loves to play,” said Kevin Durant, who finished with a historic performance of 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists.

“I was a little nervous for him because he hasn’t played in a while and that’s a physical team and his hamstring is one of those injuries that takes a while to heal. But he came out there and toughed it out, had eight assists and six rebounds.

“He missed some good looks all night. I know his legs are going to get back under him as time [goes] the next few days or so. Hopefully, next game he’ll start to knock some of those shots he usually makes down.”

The Nets will head to Milwaukee for Game 6 of the series hoping to close out the series and move to the Eastern Conference Finals.