Network Injury Updates: Will Kevin Durant, James Harden Play Pelicans?
Brooklyn’s “Big Three” was more of a “Pick Two” for the 2020-21 season.
Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have only played together in seven games since Harden joined the Nets in January. Just as it looked like the stars would finally line up with Durant for Brooklyn on their way back to the pitch, Harden injured himself and prevented coach Steve Nash from putting out his best lineup.
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The Nets haven’t exactly fought, of course, as they battle the 76ers for the best record in the Eastern Conference (35-16) in the game against the Pelicans on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Still, Brooklyn wants to build some chemistry with just 21 games left before the 2021 NBA playoffs start.
Here are the latest updates on Durant and Harden.
Will Kevin Durant play Pelicans?
Durant went from likely to available on Wednesday, setting the stage for the two-time NBA final MVP, which will speak for the first time since mid-February. Durant had missed the Nets’ last 23 games with a hamstring injury.
“I’ve been training every day for the past few months and playing here and there with my teammates,” Durant said in a video posted by the Nets’ Twitter account. “Exercising mostly, just trying to stay ready, maintain my stamina and improve my skills so I can return smoothly.
“It’s good to do a couple of these sessions before I get into an NBA game. It’s too long for me. I’m just looking forward to being out there again.”
In 19 games this season, Durant averaged 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He missed the entire final season while recovering from an Achilles injury.
Will James Harden play against Pelicans?
Harden left Monday night’s game against the Knicks with what the Nets dubbed “tightness of the right Achilles tendon”. The team announced Tuesday that an MRI showed stress on the right Achilles tendon and would miss Harden at least 10 days.
MEDICAL UPDATE: James Harden had an MRI today that found stress on the right Achilles tendon. Harden will continue to rehabilitate the Achilles tendon and re-examine it in approximately 10 days. pic.twitter.com/Up1TXYaahQ
– Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 6, 2021
Since trading from Houston to Brooklyn, Harden has been an MVP candidate averaging 25.4 points, 11.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game with the Nets.
Nets vs. Pelicans Injury Report
(Currently from 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday)
|Networks||Spencer Dinwiddie||out||Right knee; partially torn ACL|
|Networks||Kevin Durant||Available||Left achilles tendon; burden|
|Networks||James Harden||out||Right achilles tendon; Tightness|
|Networks||Tyler Johnson||out||Right knee; Pain|
|Networks||Landry Shamet||out||Right ankle; sprain|
|Pelicans||Nickeil Alexander-Walker||out||Left high ankle; sprain|
|Pelicans||Josh Hart||out||Right thumb; sprain|
|Pelicans||Brandon Ingram||Questionable||First right MTP; irritation|
|Pelicans||Kira Lewis Jr.||Questionable||Right calf; burden|