Harden played through Grade 2 hamstring strain

David Dow / National Basketball Association / Getty

Although James Harden returned for Game 5 of the Brooklyn Nets' second-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, he was far from full strength.

The All-Star guard, who was injured in the series' opening minute, revealed after Saturday's Game 7 loss that he'd been playing through a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

Brooklyn previously said Harden suffered hamstring tightness.

"Up until Game 5, that was the first time that I did any basketball competition against anybody," Harden told reporters. "So, I was literally just going out there on a limb. ... I didn't really have an opportunity to test (my hamstring), other than in games."

Harden's movement looked compromised in Game 5 as he shot 1-of-10 from the field - including 0-for-8 from deep - in 45 minutes of action. He fared better in the following two contests but managed to convert only 38.5% of his field-goal attempts.

Like his co-star Kevin Durant, Harden played all 53 minutes in the Nets' season-ending defeat to the Bucks. He posted 22 points, nine boards, and nine assists.

"They couldn't have given us anything more," head coach Steve Nash said postgame, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews. "To take that team, without (Kyrie Irving) - and James (Harden) on one leg out there ... I hurt for them more than anything."

Harden played through Grade 2 hamstring strain
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