Kevin Durant looked unstoppable in the first four minutes of the Brooklyn Nets’ game against the Miami Heat Sunday afternoon, but then he got hurt, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game. The Nets announced that he had a left thigh contusion, causing him to exit the game in the first quarter of action after putting up the Nets’ first eight points.
Brooklyn went on to lose a thrilling contest, 109-107, in which Heat forward Bam Adebayo nailed a mid-range jumper at the buzzer for the win, showing once again that the Nets definitely could’ve used K.D. out there on both ends of the floor. After the game, Nets head coach Steve Nash said he isn’t sure how severe Durant’s injury is or if he’ll need an MRI, but the team did rule Durant out for their contest against the Pelicans on Tuesday.
“He’s sore but we don’t know how severe,” Nash said. “We’ll see tomorrow [Monday] how he wakes up and go from there, but right now nothing’s been determined.”
Nets forward Jeff Green was a bit more optimistic about Durant’s injury in his postgame remarks.
“I think it will just be a day-to-day thing,” Green said. “I know he’s bummed that it’s happened frequently over the last couple of weeks and he wants to be out there playing. I’m sure he’s going to do whatever he needs to do to get back on the floor.”
The play that caused the injury came when Durant was driving toward the rim, and in the replay of the video it appears as though Trevor Ariza’s knee hit Durant’s left thigh on his way to the basket.
Durant just returned to the lineup for Brooklyn last week, after missing nearly two months of action with a hamstring injury. If Durant must miss more time, it will be another huge blow for the Nets, who haven’t been able to establish a ton of chemistry between its three stars in Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
“Anytime one of our teammates goes down, anytime something like that happens, it’s definitely going to take a hit for us,” Irving said after the game. “And he’s just gotten back. We just pray that it’s not too serious and he’s able to recover, but it definitely has a hit on our continuity at times. It’s just a reality that we have to accept. We’re asking a lot of guys to do some superhuman things, to play back-to-backs, to play three in four nights or to play six in eight nights or nine nights, whatever the schedule might be. Then you’ve just got to deal with what comes with that at times.”
The Nets are already without Harden, who has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury, and Irving has been in and out of the lineup several times due to injuries and personal reasons. Together, Durant, Harden and Irving have played just seven games together but have been incredibly potent offensively when doing so. The problem is getting all of them healthy at the same time, which hasn’t been easy this season. Hopefully all three stars will be fully healthy for the playoffs. Otherwise that could be a serious issue in Brooklyn’s quest to win a championship this year.