Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden will miss Sunday's regular-season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to injury management.
Harden has played twice since returning from an 18-game injury lay-off caused by a hamstring strain – the star-studded Nets winning both games against the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls.
But the Nets, who are looking to lock up the second seed in the Eastern Conference in pursuit of a maiden NBA championship, are taking no risks ahead of the playoffs.
Harden – returning from the longest injury absence of his stellar career – posted 18 points, 11 assists, two steals and two blocks in his comeback game against the Spurs on Wednesday.
The former MVP had five points, seven assists and five rebounds in Saturday's 105-91 victory over the Bulls.
Harden is averaging 24.6 points, 10.8 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game this season, having joined the Nets in a blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets in January.
Steve Nash's Nets (47-24) are second in the east, behind the Philadelphia 76ers (48-23) – who also secured the number one seed.