Kyrie Irving and Patty Mills of the Nets react after a...

Kyrie Irving and Patty Mills of the Nets react after a basket in the second half against the Lakers at Barclays Center on Monday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

BOSTON -- No, it hasn’t been a total disaster.

The Nets team that entered TD Garden Wednesday night looked as if it has a good chance of remaining afloat until Kevin Durant returns.

Since Durant suffered a sprain of his right knee in Miami, the Nets have gone 4-6. In isolation, that’s not something to get overly excited about, but when compared to how the team played last season when they were without their franchise player for 21 games, it is encouraging.

The Nets really never recovered from their Durant-less stretch last season. They went 5-16 without him, including an 11-game losing streak.

What’s more, the results are trending in the right direction this time. Since losing their first four games without Durant – beginning with a 109-98 loss to the Celtics on Jan 12 -- the Nets have won four of their last six.

Of course, facing the NBA-best Celtics again was a stiff test, with a blowout loss always a possibility.

“I think we’ve been able to somewhat form a recipe for how we want to play,” coach Jacque Vaughn said after Monday’s win over the Lakers at Barclays Center.

Without Durant, one of the best midrange scorers in the history of the game, the Nets have relied more heavily on three-pointers and layups. The Nets attempted 40 threes in their win over the Knicks on Saturday and 41 threes in their win over the Laker.

“Being able to shoot 40 threes again, that seems like a pretty good clip for us,” Vaughn said. “With Kevin, our pace we’re probably 14 in the league, right now we’re probably eighth or seventh without him.”

That’s not to say it didn’t take a while for the Nets to figure out what they needed to do. In their fourth game without Durant, the Nets nearly dug themselves out of a 20-point hole when they outscored Phoenix 38-23. Kyrie Irving had 21 points in the fourth quarter and the team has relied on him heavily late in games during this stretch.

As Irving also pointed out shortly after Durant went down, the Nets' current locker room is more stable than it was last season when Durant was injured. At that time, Irving was a part-time player because of his vaccination status and James Harden was trying his hardest to get traded.

“I think from a big picture standpoint, we’ve just worked out how to navigate the ship, I guess,” said Patty Mills, who scored 21 points off the bench against the Lakers, including going 4-for-5 from downtown. “It definitely does feel a lot different from last year in that sense. I think what you’re getting is everyone being able to buy into what we’re doing here. As you see, it’s the next person up. One goes down, next person up. That’s a part of being on a team and the fun part of being on a team. It doesn’t matter who goes down or who steps up. Being able to celebrate that and enjoy the success of your teammates. I think that’s what’s been going on so far while Kevin’s gone.”

In the 10 games without Durant heading into the Boston game, Irving has averaged 7.2 assists and 31.4 points. Only five players have averaged more during that time period with one of them being Boston’s Jayson Tatum, who is averaging 32.3. In his 39 games this season, Irving is averaging 27.3 points and 5.3 assists.

Irving said he is just taking it game by game.

“To be honest with you, I’m not really paying attention to the wins or losses per se,” Irving said. “The objective is still the same every day. We prepare to win basketball games. But we look back at the lessons that we learned, whether we were successful in winning or we failed that night, by possessions…..So definitely, those six losses I looks at and I’m like they could have gone either way.”

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