When going up against a Utah team that has won 14-of-15, and outscored teams by 14.6 points per 100 possessions in that stretch, an opponent needs to be at full strength.
Harden will miss his second consecutive game with a thigh bruise. The rest ultimately may be good for him, Harden has struggled of late and looked a little worn down — in his last five games he’s averaging 23 points a game (13.1 below his season average), shooting 33.3 percent overall and 13.6 percent from three.
Harden is not expected to miss extended time, the Rockets play again on Wednesday vs. the Trail Blazers.
For Westbrook, this is a planned rest game. The Rockets are on a back-to-back and Westbrook took on a heavy load in Denver Sunday with 32 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and also 10 turnovers in the Houston loss.