The Brooklyn Nets, with their January 8 102-101 win over the Miami Heat, have now won 18 of their last 20 games. While their exciting buzzer-beating win over the Heat is good news for Brooklyn, they hope more good news comes after their star Kevin Durant undergoes an MRI on January 9. With 36.6 seconds left in the third quarter, Durant suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the rest of Sunday’s games.
The injury occurred on a drive by the Heat’s Jimmy Butler, who came down with his back falling into Durant, which caused his knee to twist awkwardly.
Durant nearly instantly came away, grabbing his knee, and was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game by the Nets. Kyrie Irving sent a strong message to reporters when asked about the injury KD suffered.
Kyrie Irving on Kevin Durant Injury
After Durant went down, the Nets were still able to pull out the victory thanks to the game-winning buzzer-beater from Royce O’Neale. How will the team fair if their star forward has to miss extended time with a knee injury?
“We don’t have any time for any excuses. We just have to keep moving forward,” Irving said postgame.
Irving also offered hope to Nets fans when asked if he had spoken to KD after the injury.
“He’s in good spirits, as we all are. The strength of our team is us picking each other up and just being ready for whatever is thrown at us.”
Durant, who has suffered major injuries like an Achilles tear and a sprained MCL being in good spirits after an injury is a good sign, and Irving believes the Nets will be able to hold the fort down if he is to miss any games.
Irving on the Strength of Brooklyn’s Team
Irving heralded the strength of the Nets roster and how they come together and “support each other despite who is in the lineup,” after being asked how the team may move forward if Durant is forced to miss extended time with his knee injury.
“I just think, obviously, our strategy is pretty clear that me and K [Durant] are leading predominantly in most of the offense, and we have incredible shooters and incredibly talented basketball players around us. Now I think it shapes into all-around offense and guys being ready to play and make an impact out there. I think one of the best qualities of our team is our bench and the way we support each other despite who is in the lineup. Now it’s just time to go out and exemplify that until we figure out the timeline of K and when he can be available again,” Irving said postgame.
The statement is true, Brooklyn has an incredibly strong bench and can get boosts from players like T.J. Warren, who has been impressive in his return from injury this season. Yuta Watanabe has been one of the biggest surprises of the season in how he has earned a role on this Nets team. Joe Harris has had a limited role this season but has proven he can contribute in moments for the Nets.
Nets Waiting on Monday’s MRI Results After ‘Scary Play’
Right now, the Nets don’t know what Durant’s status is. How long he may be out with injuries, but Irving, who was near the play said that the injury was ‘scary.’
“Those plays are scary, because when someone’s not looking what’s going on, anything can happen in those moments,” Irving said. “So I’m grateful for all that time he’s put in the weight room putting his body in a great position, and his body was able to save him from something worse,” Irving said.
Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn confirmed that it was Durant’s right knee and that he will get evaluated tomorrow.
“Right knee, he’ll get evaluated tomorrow and then hopefully I’ll have some more info,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Most likely it will include imaging, just to make sure we’re good.”
Vaughn also, like Irving, gave the Nets credit for how they battled following Durant going down.
“You never want to see him go down like that,” Vaughn said. “Any player, for that matter. Pretty hard collision, but you’ve got to give our group credit for staying with it.”