The Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 122-115 on Saturday night with Kevin Durant and James Harden combining to score 74 points. The Nets were still without starting point guard Kyrie Irving (personal).
Durant exploded for 42 points in 40 minutes and made 16 of 26 shots, while Harden recorded a triple-double in his Brooklyn debut with 32 points, 14 assists, and 12 rebounds to go with four steals in 40 minutes in the win. Durant also had five assists, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Nets.
Why Is Kyrie Irving Still Not Playing?
Irving has not played for Brooklyn since Jan. 5 after he left the team for personal reasons. It was reported, though, that the All-Star points expressed a desire to return this weekend against the Magic, but permission was not granted due to NBA’s health and safety protocols.
“The sooner we can be on the court together, it’s going to be scary hours,” Harden said.
It is believed Irving’s extensive time away from the court requires a period of further preparations through basketball activities.
However, he could return to the lineup on Monday when the Nets take on the Milwaukee Bucks. This could see him linking up with the other superstars Harden and Durant.
“I think it’s going to be an adjustment for everyone, but it’s an incredible problem to have and something I think we’ll relish trying to decipher,” coach Steve Nash said.
Watch Video Highlights: Nets vs Magic
Joe Harris ended with 17 points and made four 3-pointers for Brooklyn, while Jeff Green scored 10 points in the win.
Nikola Vucevic paced the short-handed Orlando with 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Terrence Ross scored 23 points and made 9 of 17 shots, while rookie Cole Anthony tied his season high with 16 points to go with eight assists and three steals for the Magic, who were losing for the fifth straight time.
Aaron Gordon tallied 11 points, six rebounds, and six assists, and Gary Clark and Dwayne Bacon each scored 10 points for Orlando (6-7), which is 2-7 since starting the season 4-0. Despite their wobbles, the Magic remain atop the Southeast standings.