Update: Durant is now listed as questionable and Kyrie Irving is out with a finger harm.
The Sixers appear like they may not must cope with Kevin Durant tonight after the Nets celebrity went the strangest expertise but on this odd NBA season Friday.
Minutes earlier than tip-off within the nationally televised Nets-Raptors recreation, Durant was pulled from the beginning lineup as a result of he had come into contact earlier within the day with somebody who registered an inconclusive COVID check. Because the Nets and the NBA awaited phrase of that check, Durant sat out.
Then he checked in towards the top of the primary quarter, the primary time in his profession he’s come off the bench.
Early within the third quarter, Durant picked up his fifth foul, bumping Kyle Lowry as the 2 chased down a unfastened ball. Not wanting his finest participant in foul bother with 21 minutes of recreation time left, Nets head coach Steve Nash challenged the play and received. Durant went again to 4 fouls, however moments later a Nets staffer approached him on the bench and advised him the league had intervened and he’d must miss the remainder of the sport.
Durant was not completely satisfied, shaking his head and later firing off a few scathing tweets.
“Durant was initially held out of the sport whereas that consequence was being reviewed,” the league mentioned in an announcement Friday evening. “Underneath the league’s well being and security protocols, we don’t require a participant to be quarantined till a detailed contact has a confirmed optimistic check.”
Durant didn’t journey to Philly for tonight’s recreation and will find yourself lacking extra time. He had the coronavirus final March, and in keeping with ESPN, he nonetheless registered antibodies in January when he missed three video games due to contact tracing.
“I do not perceive the entire thing the place he could not play, then he got here on the court docket, then they took him again,” teammate James Harden mentioned. “There’s only a lot occurring. There’s an excessive amount of occurring. It is sort of overwhelming. We’re within the midst of a tricky recreation, and these video games are going so as to add up, particularly if we’re speaking about playoff seeding. It is overwhelming. It is irritating.
“He feels the identical method. Particularly with him already having it and we get examined each single day. He is been damaging. So, I do not perceive what the issue is. The sport ought to’ve been postponed, I really feel like. If we’re speaking about contact tracing, he was round all of us. So I do not perceive why he wasn’t allowed to play, then allowed to play, then taken again off the court docket. If that was the case, we must always’ve postponed the sport.”
Sixers-Nets is about for eight p.m. The Sixers wish to rebound after a missed alternative towards a Blazers group Thursday with out Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Joel Embiid and Seth Curry are questionable to play, whereas Ben Simmons is possible after sitting Thursday with calf tightness.