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Amid 1-2 begin, Kevin Durant says ‘in fact’ Brooklyn Nets have sufficient to win with out Kyrie Irving

NEW YORK — After Kevin Durant and James Harden had been the one two Nets gamers to attain in double figures Sunday towards the Charlotte Hornets, Durant mentioned Brooklyn shouldn’t be dropping confidence amid a 1-2 begin and has sufficient to win with out Kyrie Irving.

Durant, who poured in 38 factors within the 111-95 loss, was requested twice if he thinks the Nets have sufficient to win with out their place to begin guard, particularly when issues get robust in video games.

“Whereas we’re taking part in in a recreation, I’m not going to sit down there and say … after we get down or it’s a tight recreation, like ‘Rattling, we do not have sufficient,'” Durant mentioned. “We’re not going to be enthusiastic about [that] in the course of the recreation. We undoubtedly need Kyrie Irving out right here on the ground. And he is a large a part of what we do. However it’s not taking place proper now. So we obtained to determine it out.

“However nobody goes to lose confidence whereas we taking part in and hope Kyrie comes to avoid wasting us in the course of the recreation. No, we obtained to play. Everyone right here is assured in what they do. We simply obtained to play.”

The Nets have began the common season prefer it’s an prolonged preseason. Coach Steve Nash has been experimenting with totally different lineups and rotations to regulate to the absence of Irving, who has not complied with New York Metropolis’s mandate of getting at the very least one vaccination shot so as to play at Barclays Middle and Madison Sq. Backyard, residence of the New York Knicks.

In final week’s season opener, the Nets had been outhustled and outmuscled by the Milwaukee Bucks, who routed them 127-104. They then wanted a triple-double from Durant and to attain 16 of the sport’s last 17 factors to beat the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

On Sunday, demonstrators stood outside Barclays Center to voice assist for Irving’s stance on not getting vaccinated. Inside the sector, the Nets might’ve used Irving, as Durant and Harden (15 factors, 8 assists, 7 rebounds) had been the one two Nets to attain at the very least 10 factors.

The Nets had been outscored 32-17 within the fourth quarter, with Durant scoring 9 factors and Harden including 4 within the body.

“Yeah,” Durant repeatedly answered when requested if the Nets have sufficient to win. “I’m not about to say there’s not going to [be] sufficient 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 is three video games in. In fact now we have sufficient.”

Harden, who tried to play via 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 would assist the previous MVP is attending 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 modifications for this season on the officiating of “overt, abrupt or irregular non-basketball strikes” of offensive gamers with the ball trying to attract fouls, particularly inside, has wrongly harm Harden.

“I really feel like he is unfairly grow to be the poster boy of not calling these fouls,” Nash mentioned. “A few of them are undoubtedly fouls nonetheless. However they’re simply so alert and conscious and he is the poster baby of those new choices. … I get it, there is a line, however a few of them are nonetheless fouls.”

“I believe it is on the drive,” Nash defined of when he thinks Harden is not getting calls. “They’re hyper conscious of him reaching for man’s arms. However guys aren’t set, they usually’re getting caught not in a authorized guarding place, bumping him. That is a foul; that has nothing to do with the palms. These are those that I take just a little exception to. However James will get there.”

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

“Regardless of how a lot of a giant deal we attempt to make it, a foul’s a foul,” Harden mentioned. “It is fairly easy. I really feel like they’re placing an excessive amount of emphasis on guidelines, and never even guidelines, however sure folks to the place you take a look at it as clear fouls. For me, you’ve got simply obtained to maintain going. No huge deal.”

“… I am not the sort to complain about it,” Harden later added. “I ask each official, in the event that they see a foul, simply name a foul. Typically, I really feel like, coming right into a recreation, it is already pre-determined or I’ve a stigma getting foul calls. However I simply ask for the officers to simply name what they see.”

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