Kevin Durant returns after possible exposure to COVID-19; Kyrie Irving remains out


After missing the last three games due to NBA health and safety protocols, Kevin Durant is expected to return Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team announced.

Kyrie Irving, however, will miss his third straight game for personal reasons.

The Nets have chosen not to go into details about Irving’s absence, with coach Steve Nash saying on Friday he had contacted the All-Star guard but wanted to keep those conversations private. When asked if he was happy with Irving’s level of communication, Nash again said he wanted to keep this private, a feeling he pursued before the Nets faced the Thunder.

“All communication with Ky between the organization, I’ll keep it a secret,” Nash said Sunday, “but I’m sure you’ll hear from him at some point.”

When asked if he had any idea of ​​the timeline for Irving’s return, Nash said no.

Durant, who tested positive for COVID-19 last spring and still shows antibodies in his tests, was recently exposed to close contact that required him to be absent with a mandatory seven-day quarantine.

“Kevin is excited. He was devastated to have to be away,” Nash said. “We all know he loves the game and enjoys hooping, so he’s excited to be and obviously we have a happy coach to get him back.”

Without Durant and Irving, the Nets have split their last two games.

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