In his first start filling in for Sefolosha, Harden had 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting in 40 minutes. That was a home game against Portland. In the loss at L.A. on Monday, Harden scored just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting in 42 minutes.
“He didn't play well,” Brooks said. “But he could have had that game off the bench. You're not going to play well every night. I thought last game he didn't have the energy on the defensive end and James has really improved in that area. I talked to him about it. He has to come with it on that side of the floor because it helps him on the other side of it.”
Durant, who reiterated Wednesday morning that he took too many shots Monday despite scoring 36 points on 14-of-23 shooting, said it's up to everyone to get Harden more involved if he remains in the first string.
“We got to find him and let him bring the ball up sometimes. We got to run some plays for him,” Durant said. “I know it's tough for him starting with me and Russell since we anchor that first lineup. We just got to sacrifice some shots and some touches for James to get going because we're going to need him to win basketball games.”
Durant also said Cook or Hayward might be good options.
“That's something that you think about,” Durant said, “but ultimately that's coach's decision and he's going to make the best decision for our team.”