The Brooklyn Nets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 121-115 in overtime on Thursday night to end a five game losing streak. Kevin Durant led his team with 31 points and 10 assists while DeAndre Jordan had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets.
The “kevin durant game 5” is a game in which Kevin Durant carried the Brooklyn Nets to overtime victory. The win gave the Nets their first ever playoff series win.
11:00 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps
NEW YORK (WABC) — After a whirlwind day in which the Brooklyn Nets lost six players to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, including James Harden and Bruce Brown within an hour of tipoff before a 131-129 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors, coach Steve Nash said he wasn’t sure if Tuesday night’s game would even be played.
Brooklyn would not have had the requisite eight players ready to play against Toronto if star forward Kevin Durant, who was doubtful due to right ankle pain, had not entered the NBA’s health and safety standards in the previous 24 hours.
Nash said, “We had to argue it.” “Kevin’s condition had to be discussed. We’re obviously talking about a franchise player, and we don’t want to take any chances. As a result, we’re probably more wary than he is. But he was desperate to play, so that was the end of it.”
Durant eventually carried the Nets home with a 34-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist triple-double while playing 48 minutes, despite the Nets’ rotation having four rookies, including David Duke Jr., a two-way player, in Harden’s regular starting backcourt slot with Patty Mills.
“Man, I don’t even know how to describe how I feel,” Durant added. “We’re short seven guys in December, and we could have easily punted this game.” But we viewed it as a chance to develop and improve, particularly for the younger players who haven’t played many significant games in the NBA, especially against a championship team like Toronto, and it was an incredible test for us.
“I’m very thrilled to be a part of this squad and play with these young fellas… it felt incredible to be out there,” he says.
On Monday, Nets forward Paul Millsap was the first to join the procedures, followed by forwards LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson, and DeAndre’ Bembry, as well as guard Jevon Carter, on Tuesday morning. Harden (who arrived into Barclays Center approximately an hour before it was revealed he had entered the process) and Brown were eventually included to the group (who was out on the court warming up in anticipation of playing).
“‘Do I put on my shoes now?’ I thought to myself as I glanced at [Nets assistant coach Tiago Splitter]. ‘What exactly is the situation?’” Mills chuckled, a grin on his face. “However, this immediately devolved into a discourse inside the room, with people saying things like, ‘Well, we’re here now.’ Let’s get the ball rolling, have some fun, and shoot some hoops.’”
That’s a motto the Nets will have to remember as they traverse the next several weeks without a significant portion of their team, maybe all the way to next weekend’s Christmas Day clash with the Los Angeles Lakers. For the Nets, Tuesday marked the start of a five-game homestand. The Nets next travel to Portland to face the Trail Blazers on Dec. 23 before playing two games in Los Angeles this season, the first against the Lakers on ABC/ESPN on Christmas Day and the second against the Clippers on Dec. 27.
“Predominantly,” Nash added, all of the athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic. A player must either be out for a minimum of 10 days or return two negative PCR tests at least 24 hours apart to satisfy the league’s health and safety requirements. Assuming that each player is eligible for a 10-day return, the Lakers’ game on Christmas Day would be the earliest conceivable return date for any of them.
Nash stated there was no update on Kyrie Irving’s condition since he is still immunized and so unable to play in New York City.
Before the game, Nash remarked, “I have no updates.” “I’ve had a connection with him, but it’s completely unrelated to the topic and simply life in general.” So, we spoke last week, but without any information or insight into how things are evolving.
“I know he works out and wants to play, but I believe the limits are still the same as they were before the current stories.”
Durant stated: “Kyrie is my younger brother, and we discuss everything. But I’d rather have such discussions at home.”
Brooklyn may have up to five hardship exceptions to attempt to fill up their roster with more than the eight bodies they had available Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, but each one would cost the team close to $500,000 in luxury taxes.
As the Nets attempt to figure out where to go from here, it’s possible that they’ll continue to put a lot of pressure on Durant. Even before playing 48 minutes Tuesday night, he was averaging more minutes per game (36.9) this season than he has since winning MVP in the 2013-14 season.
When asked whether he was worried about the amount of minutes he was playing early in the season, Durant answered he wasn’t.
“I just try to do what has to be done, dude,” Durant said. “I mean, I want to be out there,” says the narrator. I’d want to participate. I want to come out on top. So that’s where it all begins.
“So, whatever it takes to get those three things done, I’m going to do it.”
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