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Blake Griffin playing in first back-to-back since joining Nets

Nets forward Blake Griffin, left, looks for an

Nets forward Blake Griffin, left, looks for an open teammate past Heat center Bam Adebayo, right, during the first half of an NBA game on Sunday in Miami. Credit: AP/Wilfredo Lee

For a change, the Nets got good news on the injury front prior to facing the Raptors on Wednesday night in Tampa. Coach Steve Nash said Blake Griffin would play in a back-to-back set for the first time since joining the Nets, and rookie Reggie Perry was available after missing one game for health and safety protocols.

Best of all, it appears superstar Kevin Durant might return during the Nets’ two-game homestand when they faced the Celtics on Friday and the Suns on Sunday. Durant suffered a left thigh contusion in Sunday’s loss in Miami, but he is progressing well.

"He’s day-to-day, so I think Friday or Sunday are very possible," Nash said of Durant’s timetable. "I’m not sure when it would be or if it would be either of those games, but he is day-to-day. So if he keeps progressing at this rate, I think Friday or Sunday are very possible."

Since joining the Nets, Griffin has sat out the second game of four straight back-to-back sets for the purpose of not overtaxing his troublesome left knee which was surgically repaired in the past. But after scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds in Tuesday night’s victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans, he was in the starting lineup against the Raptors.

 

"It’s not ideal, but with the amount of healthy bodies, we talked it over and decided (he can play). He’s wanted to play in the back-to-backs. We’re going to see how it goes and hopefully try to limit his minutes."

Although Griffin is a six-time All-Star, he has played an all-around supporting role.

"I love the intensity and the fire he brings," Nash said. "This is a guy who carried his teams for much of his career, and for him to come off the bench many nights, for him to be diving on the floor and taking charges, being aware defensively to rotate and do all those things that he’s provided for is fantastic."

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