Nets’ Kevin Durant gets ‘hands dirty’ with stellar defensive play

1 month ago 13

ATLANTA — Kevin Durant was his accustomed ascendant aforesaid connected offense, with 26 points and 8 assists. But it was his defence that had him fired up, pumping his fist and roaring.

The four-time scoring champ grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, and added 2 blocks. On 1 helium blocked a changeable by Dejounte Murray, past chased down the escaped shot and dove into the stands, deflecting it disconnected a Hawk to unit a turnover.

Asked astir it, helium burst into a Cheshire feline grin.

“I was much fired up astir that I was capable to prevention it,” Durant said aft the Nets’ 108-107 triumph implicit the Hawks. “Yeah, the artifact was cool, but being capable to inactive retrieve the shot and get his possession. I deliberation that was the amusive part. I don’t get a batch of opportunities to marque that soiled play similar that.

“You benignant of consciousness bully to get my hands soiled a bit, get connected the floor, get a mates of level burns. So it ignites our team, that conscionable deflates their squad a small bit, it conscionable does a lot. So, arsenic overmuch arsenic I tin effort to conscionable marque plays defensively. I effort to bash it and alteration momentum a small bit.”

Kevin Durant is helped disconnected  the level  during the Nets' 108-107 triumph   implicit    the Hawks.Kevin Durant is helped disconnected the level during the Nets’ 108-107 triumph implicit the Hawks.NBAE via Getty Images

Jacque Vaughn reshuffled his rotations with Seth Curry coming backmost from wounded Wednesday nighttime and Joe Harris mightiness not beryllium that acold behind.

Curry returned aft missing the triumph successful Cleveland with a non-COVID illness. Harris stayed location nursing a sore near knee. He missed a 3rd consecutive game, and his presumption for Saturday’s New Year’s Eve tilt successful Charlotte is inactive up successful the air.

“No, nary much clarity. With the 2 days successful between, he’s inactive backmost successful Brooklyn. We’ll cheque with him [Thursday] arsenic helium continues to get treatment. But no, nary further update yet,” said Vaughn, who wouldn’t perpetrate to whether Harris could conscionable up with the squad for Friday’s signifier earlier their crippled successful Charlotte.

“Yeah, well, [Thursday] we person immoderate much information. [Thursday] volition beryllium a betterment time disconnected anyway, truthful it won’t interaction the full group. The time aft that, we could signifier a small spot earlier heading to Charlotte. So hopefully [Thursday] we person immoderate more.”

Nic Claxton tied a vocation precocious with six blocks.

David Duke Jr., Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharpe and Alondes Williams were each out, connected G-League assignment. Undrafted Donovan Williams has played good for Long Island.

Atlanta was without starters Trae Young, Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter. Young was scratched with a near calf contusion suffered successful the 4th fourth of Tuesday’s nonaccomplishment to Indiana. Center Capela has a close calf strain and Hunter has a near ankle sprain.

The Nets — 21-7 nether Vaughn — vaulted into 2nd spot successful the Eastern Conference, jumping half-game up of the Bucks.

Brooklyn is 17-3 successful their past 20 games, tying the champion 20-game agelong successful franchise history. They person won six consecutive roadworthy games, tied for the longest roadworthy triumph streak successful the league this season. The Nets besides are an NBA-best 11-1 this month.