Nets Notes: Irving, Durant, Griffin, Harden

The facial contusion that Kyrie Irving suffered Tuesday night isn’t believed to be serious, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Irving was held out of Wednesday’s game, but the Nets are hoping he can return to the court this weekend.

Irving took an inadvertent elbow to the face from Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during the third quarter of Tuesday’s contest. He was down on the court for several minutes and was eventually ruled out of the game.

“Kyrie’s scans were clear fortunately,” coach Steve Nash said. “No concussion, nothing on the scans.”

There’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin played Wednesday on the second end of a back-to-back, Lewis notes in the same piece. Although both veterans have a history of injuries, they want to focus on getting ready for the postseason. “Kevin wants to play and get his rhythm and continue to get back to his best, and then just feel comfortable heading into the playoffs,” Nash said. “So you’re trying to find that balance between where the risk is, but also where they feel most confident for the playoffs. So, it’s one of those things where I take a leap of faith in what would make them feel best and make them feel in rhythm and confident prepared and then at the same time, not risking anything.”
  • James Harden, who had never missed more than 10 games in a season prior to 2020/21, acknowledged that he wasn’t sure what to expect upon returning this week from the longest absence of his career. However, as Lewis writes in a separate story for The New York Post, Harden also wasn’t surprised by his big game on Wednesday (18 points and 11 assists in 26 minutes). “Not really,” he said. “Not to brag or anything, but I’m really good at this game.”
  • Owner Joe Tsai is taking advantage of the Nets’ success to seek new sponsorship deals for the team, but the name of the Barclays Center is unlikely to change, according to Brianna Lopez of the BK Reader.
  • In case you missed it, Mike James – whose 10-day deal with the Nets expired overnight – is set to sign a rest-of-season contract with the team.
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