Rockets' James Harden expected to play in Game 5 against Thunder despite illness

Rockets All-Star James Harden is still expected to play in Game 5 against the Thunder after leaving their shootaround because of flu-like symptoms.

Coach Kevin McHale says he's sure Harden will be "ready to go" on Wednesday night. Teammate Chandler Parsons adds there's "no doubt in my mind he's going to play tonight."

Parsons says: "There's no way some little flu bug is going to keep him from playing in an elimination game."

The Rockets face a 3-1 deficit in their first-round series against Oklahoma City, after winning Game 4 to avoid elimination.

McHale says point guard Jeremy Lin will be available only for spot duty off the bench if he plays at all in Game 5 because of a bruised chest.