The Brooklyn Nets kept their impressive run rolling on Thursday night, beating the Los Angeles Lakers handily at the Staples Center, 109-98. The Lakers were without Anthony Davis, of course, but the Nets played without their best player, Kevin Durant, and it was a 20-point game until garbage time.
Many are predicting that this will be an NBA Finals preview. That may be the case, but both teams need to get their big-time forwards back and playing at the top of their games in time for the postseason. The much bigger question there is with Anthony Davis, who could be out for an extended amount of time with an Achilles injury.
Durant’s issue is believed to be a much more minor tweaked hamstring, but given his recent Achilles tear, and importance to the franchise, it is no surprise that the Nets are being as conservative as possible with any issue. The fact that the team is still beating teams like the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Lakers without him makes it even easier to keep him out.
The Nets have another big game on Sunday, when they face the other Los Angeles power, the Clippers. No word yet on if Kevin Durant will be ready for that game. After last night’s game, Steve Nash said there’s no timeline for the star forward yet.
Steve Nash said "there's no timeline" on Kevin Durant's return after missing the past two games with his hamstring injury. Nash said training staff is looking for KD to show "improved strength."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 19, 2021
Durant last appeared against the Golden State Warriors, scoring 20 points and adding six assists, five rebounds, and a pair of blocks in a 134-117 win over his former team.
When healthy, and not sitting out due to COVID-19 contact tracing, something that Durant has had to deal with this year, he’s having one of his most impressive seasons. He’s averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks, shooting 52.4/43.4/86.9 on the season.
The Brooklyn Nets have played just seven games with KD, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden all active, since the trade to acquire the former Houston Rockets star. The team is 5-2 in those games, but seem to be rounding into form in recent games, especially on the defensive end. They’ve won five straight games against the Indiana Pacers, Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Suns, and Lakers, the last four of which have come on the road.