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Nagging injury will cause Kevin Durant to miss fourth game in row

Nets forward Kevin Durant brings the ball up

Nets forward Kevin Durant brings the ball up against the Golden State Warriors during the first half in San Francisco on Feb. 13. Credit: AP / Jeff Chiu

Coach Steve Nash announced that Kevin Durant will miss his fourth straight game with a strained left hamstring when the Nets face the Clippers on Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles to conclude a five-game West Coast road trip.

"I don’t have a timeline, but he’s out for tomorrow," Nash said before a Saturday practice session. "He’s still just trying to regain that strength . . . I don’t think this is a long-term thing, but there are elements of it taking a few more days than we thought or just being cautious. Right now, both are necessary. I don’t think he’s ready. I think he needs more time, but we’re also definitely going to be cautious.

"I think he will probably do something on the floor today but very light and just as a part of continuing to progress. He is still doing his strengthening, still trying to limit the inflammation while he is strengthening and then maybe a little bit of court work and movement to see where he’s at."

The Nets (19-12) are 4-0 on the trip and previously defeated the Clippers (22-9) when they met at Barclays Center, where they will begin a three-game homestand against the Kings on Tuesday, the Magic on Thursday and the Mavericks on Saturday.

Shamet gives second unit a spark

Landry Shamet, who was acquired by the Nets in a trade with the Clippers, struggled earlier this season, scoring in double figures just twice in his first 16 games. He is averaging 7.5 points and shooting 35.5% from three-point range, which is well below his career 39.5% figure. But in the past 11 games, he has scored in double figures eight times, averaging 11.1 points and shooting 41.5% from outside the arc.

He has become a major contributor on the Nets’ second unit, which excelled in their win over the defending champion Lakers on Thursday. "We are getting more comfortable, and it has become a little bit easier for a number of guys to step into different roles and just be themselves," Shamet said.

Shamet said the Nets’ comeback from a 24-point deficit in Phoenix, when they were without Durant and Kyrie Irving, helped galvanize the team. "Having a comeback like that with guys out, the camaraderie, guys feeling good about themselves and feeling good about each other, you start to kind of feel things brewing a little bit in the locker room and the energy before the Lakers game,’’ he said.

"It has some carry-over effect, and I think you saw that with how we played the Lakers. When you come back from 24 down like that, with guys out, on the road, that’s important. I think every team needs a moment like that to start to click a little bit."

Roberson healthy, ready to go

The Nets recently signed free agent Andre Roberson, a former second-team NBA all-defensive selection. He missed the entire 2019-20 season, except for seven games in the NBA bubble with the Thunder, as a result of complications from patella tendon surgery in 2017. Roberson required three surgical procedures after the original operation.

"Thank goodness, I’m healthy and playing now," he said. "I’m looking forward to getting more games under my belt."

New York Sports