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Nets’ Kevin Durant cleared to return vs Warriors after virus scare
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Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) drives with the ball against Toronto Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam (43) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports/file) Kevin Durant has been cleared to return to the Brooklyn Nets’ lineup just in time for his first road matchup with his former team, the Golden State Warriors. Durant, who missed three games because of COVID-19 protocols, returned to practice Friday for the first time since he was pulled from the Nets’ game against the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 5. “Going back to Golden State, I’m looking forward to playing again and being out there with the team to try to build some chemistry. That’s my main focus,” said Durant, who played three seasons with the Warriors and won the NBA title with them in 2017 and 2018. “I had some great years in Golden State, looking forward to being back in the Bay Area, but it’s just a shame the fans won’t be there.” Durant, 32, was considered a close contact with a Nets employee who tested positive for the virus when he was pulled from the game with the Raptors. He tested negative throughout the week. “It was just an unfortunate situation,” Durant said. “I was looking forward to that game that night. Being told right before the tipoff that I had to wait a second for a test, it just threw off my rhythm a bit because I wanted to go out there and play. “But I mean I’m back out there now, it is what it is, I was a little upset during and after the game. But I’m cool now. I’m ready to play.” Durant’s stint with Golden State ended when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, a series the Warriors lost to the Raptors in six games. That offseason he left for the Nets as a free agent, signing a four-year deal worth $164 million. He missed all of the 2019-20 season while recovering from his injury. In 18 games this season, the four-time NBA scoring champion has averaged 29.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. gsg For more news about the novel coronavirus click here. What you need to know about Coronavirus. For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150. The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link . Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Durant expected to miss Nets’ game for virus contact tracing
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Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrates his three point shot in the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center on February 05, 2021 in New York City.  (Elsa/Getty Images/AFP) NEW YORK – Former NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets was expected to miss Saturday’s game at Philadelphia after a bizarre Covid-19 situation in a loss to Toronto. The Nets listed Durant only as questionable for Saturday’s game in an afternoon injury report amid reports he would not even make the trip to face the 76ers. Durant was planning to start Friday’s home contest, told he couldn’t after an inconclusive Covid-19 test for a close contact, then allowed to play later only to be pulled out in the third quarter after the contact returned a positive test. “I was frustrated,” Nets guard James Harden said. “We follow the protocols. We get tested every single day so I don’t understand the whole thing where he couldn’t play, then he came on the court, then they took him back. “There’s too much going on. It’s kind of overwhelming, especially when we’re in the midst of a tough game.” Durant, who contracted Covid-19 last year, missed three games last month due to Covid-19 contact tracing. If he were out for a similar span, Durant would miss Tuesday’s Nets game at Detroit and Wednesday’s home contest against Indiana as well. The Nets open a five-game western road swing next Saturday at Golden State, visiting the team Durant sparked to NBA crowns in 2017 and 2018. Durant tossed a water bottle as he went walking to the locker room for the final time and was absent at the finish of Brooklyn’s 123-117 loss to Toronto. “I probably didnt handle it great, just trying to juggle all those balls, all that information,” Nets coach Steve Nash said about Durant’s on-again, off-again status. “I probably got a little distracted thinking about what it means long-term for our team. We’ve already been playing guys a lot of minutes and if Kevin is not playing, are we going to run the remaining guys too many minutes? So maybe I got a little bit distracted by the big picture.” Harden questioned whether or not the game should have been played at all if Durant was such a risk, given he had been around all of his teammates in the locker room just before the Toronto contest. “It’s overwhelming. It’s frustrating,” Harden said. “(Durant) feels the same way, especially with him already having it and we get tested every single day. He has been negative. So I don’t understand what the problem is. “The game should’ve been postponed, I feel like, if we’re talking about contact tracing. He was around all of us. So I don’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to play, then allowed to play, then taken back off the court. “If that was the case, we should’ve postponed the game.” gsg For more news about the novel coronavirus click here. What you need to know about Coronavirus. For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150. The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link . Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Kevin Durant, LeBron James headline early All-Star voting
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Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers power forward Nicolas Batum (33) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers lead their respective conferences in the first round of NBA fan balloting for next month’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta. The game, originally scheduled for this month in Indianapolis, was canceled in November because of COVID-19. But, according to multiple reports, it will be played March 7 after the league and the players union reached a tentative agreement on Thursday to play in Atlanta. In All-Star voting that was released Thursday, Durant leads all players with 2,302,705 with James next at 2,288,676. The only other player to receive 2 million votes was Golden State point guard Stephen Curry (2,113,178). Durant, a 6-foot-10 forward who sat out last season with an Achilles injury, averages 30.8 points, second behind Bradley Beal (34.8) of the Washington Wizards. Durant, a 10-time All-Star, also averages 7.5 points and 5.2 assists. James, a 16-time All-Star forward with four NBA titles, averages 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.5 assists for the defending champion Lakers. Curry, a six-time All-Star, is fifth in scoring at 28.2. The next fan voting update is Thursday, Feb. 11. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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