Nets’ Kyrie Irving sits down again when Kevin Durant returns


The Nets had hoped to recover their two absent stars on Sunday. They got there halfway, with Kevin Durant against Oklahoma City but Kyrie Irving against the Thunder.

Durant had missed the previous three games due to NBA health and safety protocols after coming into contact with someone with COVID-19. But he has repeatedly tested negative for the coronavirus, has been quarantined and was available against his former club.

Brooklyn hasn’t been so lucky with Irving.

Irving has now missed three straight games for what the team called “personal reasons.” With an average of 27.1 points, his continued absence is a huge loss for the Nets. When asked if the team were happy with Irving’s explanation for his absence, Nash had a chance to say yes, but only replied that they were keeping the matter private.

Sources told the Post that the All-Star guard’s absence was linked to Wednesday’s riot on Capitol Hill by supporters of President Trump.

During Durant’s three-game absence, the Nets pierced the Jazz by 36, passed the 76ers at the top of the Eastern Conference and dropped a crush the following night in Memphis at the end. of a difficult back to back.

“We went 2-1. I would say that’s what we accomplished in all three games and played basketball in stages, ”said Caris LeVert.

“It will be important for all of us to keep that momentum going when these two come back, because obviously they’re an important part of our squad and we need them to play well in order to do what we want to do. So I think for us it was good to have some kind of confidence, to have our looks and things like that, because we’re going to need it for the future.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets shrugs during a game against the Chicago Bulls on Jan.31, 2020.
Kyrie Irving
Getty Images

In Durant’s three-game absence, LeVert averaged 29.7 points and seven assists, shooting 50% and 47.4% from depth. With Irving out on Sunday, Nash had another opportunity to keep LeVert in the starting lineup.

“Everyone’s struggling with their own issues this season, and 2 of 3 in this league is pretty solid,” said Joe Harris. “To be an elite team where we want to go we have to be a little better and have a better win ratio. But for now, in terms of small wins, it’s a good step in the right direction.

“We’ve played – at least the last two games – more competitively I think, just bringing in good energy. … I think we’re going to keep that momentum going, and obviously that will help a lot when we get Ky and Kevin back.

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