Los Angeles, USA – Kevin Durant carried the load again on Saturday as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 110-95 on Saturday for their fourth NBA win in the five games since Kyrie Irving’s suspension.
All-Star guard Irving was suspended at least five games by the Nets after using social media to post a video widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
Although he has now reached the minimum, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said before Saturday’s game that Irving will not return to play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The Nets opened their stay in Southern California with a hard-fought win over the Clippers, Durant scoring 27 points with six rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
Reserve Seth Curry caught fire late, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets finally rallied.
Durant, 34, is the first player to start a season with 13 consecutive games of at least 25 points since the great Michael Jordan had 16 25-point games to open the 1988-89 campaign.
He has made sure the Nets have weathered Irving’s absence, as well as the continued struggles of Ben Simmons, who came off the bench and scored just one basket.
The Australian, acquired last season in the trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia, finished with two points, five rebounds and three assists.
Clippers star Paul George endured a rough shooting night, making just five of 12 shots en route to 17 points.
Center Ivica Zubac had 16 points and 15 rebounds and Marcus Morris added 13 as the Clippers kept up the pressure until the Nets put together an 18-2 run late.
While the chances of Irving’s return to the seven-time All-Star remain unknown, his situation appeared headed for resolution after both NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Nets owner Joe Tsai said this week that they had had successful talks with the player.
Irving faced criticism for his association with the film “Hebrews to Negroes: wake up black America,” and his initial refusal to apologize prompted the Nets to suspend him.
Even after he apologized on Instagram, apparel giant Nike said it was “suspending” its relationship with him and canceling the release of the Kyrie 8 shoe that was expected this month.
NBA: Kevin Durant’s triple-double leads Nets to beat Knicks
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