New York Notes: Durant, Harden, Turner, Barrett

The Nets are resting Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge for tonight’s game in Houston, tweets Mark Medina of Durant played more than 40 minutes in Tuesday’s win at Dallas, and Brooklyn is being careful not to overextend Aldridge, who briefly retired at the end of last season due to a heart condition.

There have been concerns about the heavy minutes that Durant and James Harden have seen this season with the loss of Kyrie Irving and injuries to other rotation players. Harden said Tuesday that neither of them minds the increased workload, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“One thing about me and KD, we love to play basketball,” Harden said. “So it don’t matter. We could play the whole 48. Even if we’re exhausted. Coach says something — nope. We wanna stay in the game. We wanna play.”

There’s more from New York City:

  • Harden received a mostly positive reaction when he was introduced tonight in Houston, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Harden, who played more than eight seasons with the Rockets before forcing his way out in January, returned to Houston for a game last season, but the crowd was limited because of COVID-19 restrictions. “I think it definitely means something to James,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “I don’t want to overstate it, but I also don’t want to understate it. He had such a historic run here. This city means a ton to him.”
  • A report that the Pacers are exploring trades involving Myles Turner could be significant to the Knicks, who checked on Turner’s availability during the offseason, according to Ian Begley of Those talks didn’t go very far, Begley adds, but New York’s front office remains interested in finding a center who can stretch the floor. The Knicks have multiple ways to match Turner’s $17.5MM salary, Begley notes, and Mitchell Robinson, Nerlens Noel or Taj Gibson would likely be included in any deal.
  • Tom Thibodeau’s search for lineup solutions will be much easier if RJ Barrett continues to shoot the way he did in Tuesday’s win over the Spurs, per Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Barrett broke out of a 13-game shooting slump with a 32-point night while going 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. “I was down for a couple of weeks, but I’m feeling better now,” Barrett said. “It was good to get back in the gym, it was great and to have a game like today. Hopefully that can carry on for (Wednesday).”
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