Nets star Kevin Durant will miss Thursday night’s marquee TNT game against the Lakers and LeBron James at Staples Center because of a hamstring injury. The Nets could get Kyrie Irving back, as the guard is listed as probable after missing their last game with lower back tightness.
This will mark a third straight missed game for Durant. After straining his left hamstring, he sat out the Nets’ back-to-back victories in Sacramento on Monday and Phoenix on Tuesday.
Irving started suffering lower back tightness during the game versus the Kings and got treatment at halftime of that win. He came back to pour in a season-high 40 points before sitting out the comeback win the next night against the Suns.
“We’re confident it will be short-term,” coach Steve Nash said at the time of Irving’s injury.
After James Harden scored 38 points to help the Nets overturn a 21-point halftime deficit — the biggest in team history — now Irving could be set to rejoin him on the court against the Lakers, who are missing Anthony Davis.
“Whether it’s the Lakers or any other team, that doesn’t get us excited because we’re still working on ourselves, if that makes sense,” Harden said. “So, obviously, we understand that caliber of team we’re playing. But then, the whole situation is we are working on ourselves.”
With fans permitted to be at Barclays Center beginning next Tuesday vs. the Kings, there is some clarity regarding Nets’ ticket availability and pricing.
For the three home games between next Tuesday and the March 7 All-Star Game, the Nets will welcome approximately 300 fans in what the organization terms “premium seats.” Following the All-Star Game, single-game tickets will go on sale, beginning at $150 per seat.
That sum will include the PCR testing, as the organization will both cover the test’s expense and handle its logistics. A Nets spokesperson said in a statement that Barclays “will be the first venue in major North American sports” to do this. Part of the ticket proceeds will be dispensed to fund vaccinations as well.
Per the statement, “Tickets for the second half of the season will go on sale to season ticket holders and the general public shortly after the NBA announces the schedule for the remainder of the season.”
With the Nets shorthanded, Tyler Johnson has stepped up, averaging 12 points and shooting 55.6 percent from 3-point range over his past three games.
“Tyler, man, he’s been great the last couple of games. He’s come in and has given us great minutes,” Jeff Green said. “His defense was really good and he’s been playing well. He’s been working hard to get back on the court after a couple of injuries early on. But he’s been great and has been helping us out the last couple of games.”
After being out of the rotation, Johnson has played in six straight and logged at least 18 minutes in five of them. He’ll come into the game against the Lakers off a solid effort against the Suns, who cut him last season. Johnson had a season-high 17 points, and has shown improved defense, even against bigger foes.
“Got to have some heart. No heart, it’s over for you. We’ve just got some guys who want to guard. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to,” Johnson said. “You’re gonna let somebody bully you around, then you really have no business being on the court.”
Green said took a hard shot to the chest just before halftime Tuesday and sat out the entire third quarter, but says he’ll be fine to face the Lakers.
“I’m cool man. I’ve been hit harder. I’ve been through more pain,” he said. “I’ll be sore, but I ain’t tripping.”
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (right knee soreness) is questionable. … Joe Harris is averaging 16.6 points over his past 10 games, while shooting 58.3 percent overall and an absurd 53.6 from deep.