“I like being on the court,” Kevin Durant said postgame referring to his recent uptick in minutes after the Nets registered a 17-point comeback win in Dallas. “I think I provide some good production from my team when I’m out there.”
There has been a lot of discussion around the recent increased court time that the former two-time Finals MVP has been seeing, especially after Steve Nash addressed it a few days back.
As Nash mentioned, the issue is the Nets don’t have a lot of other options if they want to win games. Take this game for example, Brooklyn needed Durant to log 40 minutes as he was the spark that fired their comeback.
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After the Mavericks held their largest lead of 17 with 7:30 to go in the third, the Nets outscored them 48-28 including a 27-13 fourth quarter. Durant scored 16 of his 24 points as part of the team’s fightback, including the clutch jumper that sealed the game, as he played out every minute of the second half.
The duo of Durant and James Harden scored or assisted on 41 of the team’s final 48 points against the Mavericks, clearly pivotal to the final result.
After this game, both players rank among the leaders in the league in minutes averaged with Durant averaging over 40 in the past five games.
While The Beard has registered plenty of heavy-minute seasons in Houston, this is the most minutes Durant has averaged since his MVP year in the 2013-14 season when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With Kyrie Irving’s absence, combined with the recent injury to Joe Harris, the load on the duo of Harden and KD has increased especially on the offensive end of the floor.
While the pair have been able to ensure wins in a majority of the situations for the team, it’s the concern of a possible injury that is leading to questions surrounding the increased minutes especially for Durant, who is coming off an Achilles injury that he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.
However, Durant and Harden, both don’t seem too concerned with their playing time.
“I might play 48 tomorrow, just ’cause. Give you something to talk about,” Durant said wrapping his postgame press conference referring to the Nets’ next game within 24 hours in Houston against the Rockets.
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