The Nets had their Big Three together in the starting lineup for the first time in three months as they defeated the Bulls this afternoon, writes Malika Andrews of ESPN. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have all been dealing with injuries since the combination was formed, but they appear to be healthy and focused heading into the playoffs.
This was the first chance for the crowd at the Barclays Center to enjoy watching the superstar trio, as fans weren’t allowed in the building the last time they all started together on February 13. Despite the long break from playing together, Durant said they were able to adapt quickly.
“We’ve all been playing the game for a while, so I feel like we can adjust and adapt as time goes on,” he said. “Injuries kept us away from playing with each other, but mentally, we were always locked in and trying to find different ways to play. Our voices were loud on the bench when we were injured. Guys always talking in the film room. Guys are just actually playing minutes now. But we always been in constant communication with each other and trying to figure out the best way to play.”
There’s more from Brooklyn:
- Durant expects to play in the Nets’ regular season finale on Sunday, but that could change if there’s nothing at stake, Andrews adds in the same piece. If the Bucks lose to the Heat tonight, Brooklyn will clinch the second seed in the East. “We want to finish the season off, so I’m sure we’re all looking at that game and seeing what happens,” Durant said. “Just for rhythm and just to get back on the court again, I want to play. But we’ll see what happens tonight.”
- Joe Harris sat out today’s game and won’t play tomorrow due to a left gluteal strain, according to Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press. However, coach Steve Nash said it’s a slight strain and Harris is expected to be ready for the playoffs.
- The Nuggets made a strong effort to sign Mike James after he was suspended by CSKA Moscow in March, writes Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops. James didn’t have an American agent, so he was represented by his friend, Mo Smith, who put him in touch with the Nets. Durant’s brother, Tony, is Smith’s business partner and a friend of James, so he wanted to steer him toward Brooklyn.