Four games into his comeback from a 23-game absence caused by a strained left hamstring, things were going swimmingly for Kevin Durant, who scored 95 points in 100 minutes in that stretch.
But after scoring the Nets’ first eight points against the Heat on Sunday afternoon at American Airlines Center in Miami, Durant had to remove himself after just 4:03 with what was diagnosed as a left thigh contusion.
Durant appeared to hurt himself on a drive to the basket 1:33 into the game and missed both foul shots. He continued to play and to score, but he clutched his thigh several times before heading to the training room in what became a 109-107 Nets loss.
"He’s sore, but we don’t know how severe," coach Steve Nash reported after the game. "We’ll see [Monday] how he wakes up and go from there, but right now, nothing has been determined . . . I imagine they’re going to assess him in the morning and see if a [MRI] scan is necessary."
Nash said it’s expected that Durant will remain with the Nets on their road trip, which concludes with games against the Pelicans on Tuesday in New Orleans and against the Raptors in Tampa, where they are playing "home" games.
"I think we’re all relieved it was just a contusion," Jeff Green said. "I think it will be a day-to-day thing. I know he’s bummed that it’s happened frequently over the last couple weeks and he wants to be out there playing."
James Harden (strained right hamstring) remained on the injury list, missing his sixth straight game. But he’s on the trip, has an intense workout scheduled for Monday and might return for one game of the trip.
Said Nash, "We’re not even going to look at that until we see how he comes through [Monday’s workout] and see how many days he has left that he needs to accomplish at high intensity to be safe before he returns to play."