Kevin Durant has been performing extraordinarily for the Brooklyn Nets over the past couple of weeks. However, the 33-year-old is not very happy, as he is missing a few of his teammates, due to the league's health and safety protocols.
The Brooklyn Nets have a total of seven players out due to the protocols. Including Joe Harris and Kyrie Irving. The Nets missed a total of nine players in their game against the Toronto Raptors.
However, Durant showed up for the team when it mattered the most. He carried the Nets to a win in overtime at the Scotiabank Arena, which was stacked with Raptors fans.
Coming into the game, Durant was listed as questionable due to ankle soreness. However, he played the game, and put on a great performance in the absence of James Harden and others. Speaking about the win despite being shorthanded, Kevin Durant said in his post-game press conference:
"I knew I was going to play this morning; I wasn't expecting James and Bruce to be out until I got to the game, which was surprising, but that made me even more excited to play this game with the young dudes... I wish everybody was playing, but I knew it was a great opportunity for all of us to hoop for one and go out there and see you know where we are against a solid team."
"So I can't wait for the rest of the guys to get back; we miss them all; I mean it's weird not having them in the locker room, so hopefully all the guys get better here soon, and we have our full team together, but tonight was fun."
Durant secured a 34 point triple double, and played 48 minutes in the game. His contribution was necessary, as the team was playing with only eight players on the roster.
Kevin Durant leads a short-handed Brooklyn Nets team to victory over the Raptors
The Brooklyn Nets had a long injury list coming into the game. However, the team was focused on the goal, which was securing a win in this clash.
Right from the tip-off, young guns like Duke Jr. and Nic Claxton were at their best. The Nets ended the first half with an eight-point lead. However, Fred VanVleet marshalled his troops to a solid comeback in the third quarter.
Brooklyn put in a weak defensive performance to allow the Raptors to score 44 points in the third quarter. A big response was needed from the Nets going into the penultimate quarter.
That is exactly what they got, as they kept racking buckets to close in on the lead. With just 13 seconds left to play, the Nets needed a three-pointer to tie the scores. Patty Mills pulled from the deep, and made the three to take the game to overtime.
The team kept their calm from there, eventually winning the game 131-129. Kevin Durant ended the night with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. That was his 14th career triple-double.
The Brooklyn Nets remain atop the East, but the battles get tougher as they next face the Philadelphia 76ers at home. Durant and co will hope to have more players back for the next few games.