Amid 1-2 begin, Kevin Durant says ‘after all’ Brooklyn Nets have enough to win without Kyrie Irving


NEW YORK — After Kevin Durant and James Harden have been the one two Nets gamers to rating in double figures Sunday towards the Charlotte Hornets, Durant mentioned Brooklyn just isn’t shedding confidence amid a 1-2 begin and has enough to win without Kyrie Irving.

Durant, who poured in 38 factors within the 111-95 loss, was requested twice if he thinks the Nets have enough to win without their place to begin guard, particularly when issues get robust in video games.

“While we are playing in a game, I am not going to sit there and say … when we get down or it is a tight game, like ‘Damn, we don’t have enough,'” Durant mentioned. “We are not going to be thinking about [that] during the game. We definitely want Kyrie Irving out here on the floor. And he is a huge part of what we do. But it is not happening right now. So we got to figure it out.

“But nobody goes to lose confidence whereas we taking part in and hope Kyrie comes to save us in the course of the sport. No, we acquired to play. Everybody right here is assured in what they do. We simply acquired to play.”

The Nets have started the regular season like it’s an extended preseason. Coach Steve Nash has been experimenting with different lineups and rotations to adjust to the absence of Irving, who has not complied with New York City’s mandate of getting at least one vaccination shot in order to play at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks.

In final week’s season opener, the Nets have been outhustled and outmuscled by the Milwaukee Bucks, who routed them 127-104. They then needed a triple-double from Durant and to score 16 of the game’s final 17 points to beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

On Sunday, demonstrators stood outside Barclays Center to voice support for Irving’s stance on not getting vaccinated. Inside the arena, the Nets could’ve used Irving, as Durant and Harden (15 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds) were the only two Nets to score at least 10 points.

The Nets were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter, with Durant scoring 9 points and Harden adding 4 in the frame.

“Yeah,” Durant repeatedly answered when asked if the Nets have enough to win. “I’m not about to say there’s not going to [be] enough out right here. I’m not going to say that. I really feel like we had a pleasant management of the sport within the first half. They performed a greater second half.

“It’s three games in. Of course we have enough.”

Harden, who tried to play by way of a hamstring pressure within the second spherical of the 2020-21 playoffs, mentioned he’s nonetheless constructing his confidence as he begins this season. One factor that might assist the previous MVP is getting to the road with the frequency he’s used to.

Harden is averaging 18.3 factors, 8.0 assists and seven.3 rebounds however has gone to the road simply 9 instances in three video games. He averaged 10.1 journeys to the road every season from 2014-15 to 2019-20.

Nash believes the principles adjustments for this season on the officiating of “overt, abrupt or abnormal non-basketball moves” of offensive gamers with the ball trying to draw fouls, particularly inside, has wrongly harm Harden.

“I feel like he’s unfairly become the poster boy of not calling these fouls,” Nash mentioned. “Some of them are definitely fouls still. But they’re just so alert and aware and he’s the poster child of these new decisions. … I get it, there’s a line, but some of them are still fouls.”

“I think it’s on the drive,” Nash defined of when he thinks Harden is not getting calls. “They’re hyper aware of him reaching for guy’s arms. But guys aren’t set, and they’re getting caught not in a legal guarding position, bumping him. That’s a foul; that has nothing to do with the hands. Those are the ones that I take a little exception to. But James will get there.”

Harden had one free throw towards Charlotte however is not complaining.

“No matter how much of a big deal we try to make it, a foul’s a foul,” Harden mentioned. “It’s pretty simple. I feel like they’re putting too much emphasis on rules, and not even rules, but certain people to where you look at it as clear fouls. For me, you’ve just got to keep going. No big deal.”

“… I’m not the type to complain about it,” Harden later added. “I ask every official, if they see a foul, just call a foul. Sometimes, I feel like, coming into a game, it’s already pre-determined or I have a stigma getting foul calls. But I just ask for the officials to just call what they see.”

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