Brooklyn Nets to be without Kevin Durant until Friday

Feb 5, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) controls the ball against Toronto Raptors small forward Stanley Johnson (5) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant will be out at least until Friday, according to The Athletic, after a bizarre turn of events that had him pulled in the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors.

Durant did not travel with the team to Saturday’s game at Philadelphia.

In a game the Nets lost 123-117 to the Raptors on Friday, Durant was removed due to coronavirus contact tracing. According to The Athletic’s report, Durant was in close contact three times Friday with a team employee who later tested positive for COVID-19. Durant has tested negative, as have all other players and staff members.

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Durant played 19 minutes off the bench against the Raptors, getting eight points, six rebounds and five assists. He was held out of the game at the outset, entered later and then was pulled in the third quarter.

Shortly after being pulled, Durant tweeted, “Free me.”

Nets coach Steve Nash said, “It’s just a contact-tracing procedure, and I think it’s to be determined how much time he’ll have to miss. But we’re just gathering information still at this point.”

Brooklyn guard James Harden said of the in-and-out nature of Durant’s appearance on Friday, “The game should’ve been postponed, I feel like. If we’re talking about contact tracing, he was around all of us. … If that was the case, we should’ve postponed the game.”

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The Nets’ Kyrie Irving also missed Saturday night’s game with a sprained right index finger.

–Field Level Media