Kevin Durant to sit down out Thursday’s Nets-Thunder matchup

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And within the fourth sport over 5 days, Kevin Durant rested. 

The Nets held the NBA’s main scorer out of their 130-109 loss Thursday night time in opposition to the Thunder at Barclays Center after he’d appeared in three video games over the earlier 4 days, together with the win Wednesday at Chicago. 

Veteran guard Patty Mills additionally was rested, with injured huge males LaMarcus Aldridge (foot) and Nic Claxton (hamstring) nonetheless unavailable as properly. 

“Just as we talk about frequently in these forums, those guys have played a lot of minutes,” coach Steve Nash mentioned of Durant and Mills earlier than the sport. “Four games, five nights, coast to coast, crazy start times to the games and time zones, it’s just an opportunity to use caution and to get them some rest.” 

The 33-year-old Durant was second within the league behind Toronto’s Fred VanVleet in minutes per sport this season at 37.2. Nash added he didn’t think about staggering relaxation video games for Durant and Mills between the previous two nights or by sitting certainly one of them Saturday in opposition to the Pelicans. 

Kevin Durant ranks second in the NBA in minutes per game.Kevin Durant ranks second within the NBA in minutes per sport.NBAE by way of Getty Images

“I think those guys have just played so much and have had so much responsibility in the games recently that it wouldn’t be smart for them to play [Thursday],” Nash mentioned. “Patty’s been form of on the sting so far as his load for some time now, and Kevin can also be. 

“I think it was a little bit of a risk that we didn’t want to take. If you get cute and try to mix it up, you’re putting a risk on one of those guys.” 

Unvaccinated guard Kyrie Irving additionally was out of the lineup once more because of native COVID-19 mandates after he performed this week at Portland and Chicago. 

James Harden joked after the win Wednesday that he’s “gonna give [Irving] the shot” for availability at dwelling video games, however Nash mentioned there was no change in Irving’s standing. 

“I’ve not heard anything at all. For me it’s just he’ll be playing on the road,” Nash mentioned. 

Durant nonetheless leads Eastern Conference forwards in All-Star balloting with greater than 4 million votes, forward of the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokuonmpo and the 76ers’ Joel Embiid because the projected front-court starters. Only Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Lakers ahead LeBron James have garnered extra votes than Durant. 

Harden ranks fourth and Irving is sixth within the voting amongst Eastern guards, whereas Aldridge is listed tenth amongst forwards. 

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