Kevin Durant to undergo an MRI after injuring his knee against heat

Kevin Durant ruled the Brooklyn Nets out of their 102-101 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday after injuring his right knee in the third quarter.

Durant is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday, according to Nets coach Jack Vaughn.

The injury occurred with 1:05 left in the third quarter as Heat’s Jimmy Butler went to the rim and his shot was blocked by Nets big man Ben Simmons. Butler again fell to Durant’s knee, and Durant was on the floor for a few moments but remained in the match.

Durant kept rubbing the knee up and down on the floor and had to be taken out when the Nets called a timeout about 30 seconds later. Durant immediately walked back to the locker room to be checked out and never returned.

“I was there. Those plays are scary,” Nets guard Kyrie Irving said after the game. Because when someone isn’t looking [at] Whatever happens, anything can happen in those moments, so I’m thankful that for all that time in the weight room, putting his body in great shape, his body was able to save him from something worse.”

The Nets, who had won 18 of their 20 games, were trying to remain confident that Durant’s injury wouldn’t be too serious.

“He’s in good spirits as are all of us,” Irving said of Durant. “The strength of our team is that we pick each other up. Just being prepared for anything thrown at us. … I think one of the greatest qualities of our team is the bench and the way we support each other, despite who he is now it’s time to come out and spell that out so we find out.” Schedule with K and when he might be available again. So we have to be mature about that.”

The Nets did not allow Durant to reporters after the game.

While it remains unclear how severe the injury was, this isn’t the first time Durant has dealt with a knee problem. Durant injured his MCL in his left knee during a January 15, 2022 win against the New Orleans Pelicans and had to miss over a month and a half while in rehab. During his rehabilitation, the Nets, then 15-27 and still playing Irving part-time due to New York City’s vaccination mandate, were 5-17 in Durant’s absence, including an 11-game winning streak. .

Durant also missed more than a month in 2017 when he sprained his MCL and suffered a bruised tibia when former Golden State Warriors teammate Zaza Pachulia accidentally fell on his knee.

The Nets know that if Durant should miss a bunch of games, everything will change for the set — on both ends of the floor.

“He’s a focal point for us offensively, but even defensively he’s been one of the elite guards this year,” Nets guard Joe Harris said. “He’s guarding the best players. It’s obviously going to be a huge blow for us [if he’s out]But at the same time it presents opportunities for everyone and we have a lot of depth for reasons like this, for everyone just to step up and collectively try to fill that void.”

Nets center Nic Claxton added: “I think everyone’s going to have to step up. This isn’t the first time he’s been out or Ky is out. Everyone’s going to have to step up a little bit, and we’ll all be right. Hopefully he’ll be available for the next game, but whatever happens we’ll adjust him.” And we’ll be fine.”

Durant has catapulted into MVP conversation this season with averages of 30 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists – leading the Nets back toward the top of the Eastern Conference after a tumultuous start to the season on and off the floor.

The Nets’ next game will be Thursday at home against the Boston Celtics, but the duration of their season will be largely determined by what Monday’s test says about Durant’s knee.

“It’s not good to be honest with you,” Irving said of seeing his friend Durant. “With K, we know what we’re up against with him not being in the lineup. We can say that every day. We don’t have time for any excuses, we just have to move on and stay mature about it, like I said.”

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