Before the game, Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said Durant would be re-evaluated in “a few weeks,” after which the team will have a better idea of when he’ll be back.
In the meantime, the Nets, who were hoping to finally have a long stretch with Durant, Harden and Irving on the floor together, are once again forced to cope, adapt and figure out how to win.
“It’s an opportunity for our team to grow,” Nash said. “We have to find solutions.”
The Nets got another scare in the third quarter when Harden grabbed his left leg and hobbled.
He stayed for another minute before being replaced by Irving, who then scored seven straight points, dropping a 3-pointer with 11.7 seconds left to put Brooklyn ahead 88-87 going into fourth.
Garland, who was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week during the game, was in the middle of the most splashy play of the game in the first half.
After making an overhead catch on a long out pass from Love like a football receiver, Garland returned the ball to a trailing Okoro for a thunderous dunk.
Nets: It’s hard to find a bright spot with Durant’s situation, but one upside is that Brooklyn plays nine of its next 11 on the road and will have Irving, who can’t play at home because he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19 as mandated in New York’s public places. … F/C Nick Claxton (hamstring) missed his fourth game in a row. … A two-time league MVP as a point guard, Nash was impressed with Garland’s development. “It kind of has all the tools you want, coupled with speed and quickness.”