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Sport Nets welcome Pelicans to Barclays Center

15:06  07 april  2021
15:06  07 april  2021 Source:   sbnation.com

Kevin Durant scores 17 in tremendous return as Nets blow out Pelicans, 139-111

  Kevin Durant scores 17 in tremendous return as Nets blow out Pelicans, 139-111 It was a scary Wednesday night in Brooklyn. The return of Kevin Durant featured a Brooklyn blowout, as the Nets defeated the Pelicans,139-111. With the win, the Nets take sole possession of the No. 1 seed in the East and improve to 36-16 on the season. The story of the game was Durant, who returned to the hardwood after missing 23 games and one quarter. HE'S BACK, BROOKLYN. pic.twitter.com/ZQaSivnJG9 — Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 8, 2021 The Nets superstar, who came off the bench in the second quarter, showed not a tinge of rust. Durant got a loud ovation from the Barclays Center crowd as he entered.

Kyrie Irving put on a show and the Nets sent the Knicks back to Manhattan in a close one, 114-112, the third time Brooklyn beat New York this season ... and evened the all-time series at 106-106. Unfortunately, the Nets suffered a loss when James Harden subbed out in the first quarter with hamstring tightness. He’s out for at least 10 days.

Isaiah Thomas holding a basketball © Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The opponent tonight will be the New Orleans Pelicans, who are 5-5 in their last 10, losing Tuesday night to the Hawks. The Pelicans are now 22-28 but still within range of the 10th seed and the NBA’s play-in tournament. So winning is still a priority. Tuesday was also the debut of Isaiah Thomas, the former Celtics star who’s injury history has deprived him of all but 44 outings over last four years. Oh yeah, Zion.

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Where to follow the game

The game will be televised on the YES2 Network as well as ESPN with the contest set to tip at 7:30 PM ET. For radio listeners, the game will be available on WFAN 101.9 FM radio.

We’ll be on Clubhouse post-game as we are after every game now. More details later.

Injuries

Good news, bad news. The good news is that Kevin Durant will likely (okay, “probable”) suit up for the first time in 23 games, but James Harden is out and will be out for at least another 10 days (five games) starting tonight. Also, two other members of the Nets backcourt , Tyler Johnson and Landry Shamet, are also out.

Brandon Ingram (toe) didn’t play vs. the Hawks Tuesday. He is not alone. Josh Hart, Nickiell Alexander-Walker, John Collins, Kris Dunn, DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish are all out. Rookie guard Kira Lewis (calf) is day-to-day.

Pelicans vs. Hawks odds, line, spread: 2021 NBA picks, April 6 predictions from proven computer model

  Pelicans vs. Hawks odds, line, spread: 2021 NBA picks, April 6 predictions from proven computer model The SportsLine Projection Model has simulated Hawks vs. Pelicans 10,000 times and the results are in. It is leaning under on the total, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine. So who wins Hawks vs. Pelicans? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Hawks vs. Pelicans spread to jump on Tuesday, all from the model that is on an incredible 93-59 roll.

The game

The Pelicans flew Tuesday night from Atlanta to Brooklyn Tuesday night after getting blown out by the Hawks, 123-107, in Georgia. Zion Williamson had another monster game, scoring 34 points on 12-of-18 shooting and grabbing five rebounds. After missing three games with a strained right thumb, Williamson returned with a light wrap and looked good. Also putting up positive numbers was Lonzo Ball, who came within a rebound of a triple double.

The problem for the Pelicans, other than their myriad injuries, is their defense. Before Tuesday, they ranked 28th, three places below the Nets. Perimeter defense, they’re even worse, 29th. Indeed, vs. the Hawks, they gave up 20 3-pointers on 31 attempts, Atlanta sank each of their 11 3-point attempts in the third quarter. Even with TJ and Shamet out, expect the Nets fire away from deep.

Offensively, the Pelicans rank eighth, not bad considering their health issues.

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Player to watch

Isaiah Thomas is the most unlikely star. He was drafted out of Washington at No. 60 and then at 5’9” became an All-Star and All-NBA, winning hearts in Boston and across the NBA when he dominated the first round of the 2017 post-season despite the death of his sister in a car accident.

From that point on, the legend of IT slowly fell apart due to injuries. He was traded to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving deal and his physical exam showed unresolved issues related to a previous hip injuries. There was also issues with a loss of cartilage and some arthritis and he bounced around, going from Cleveland to the Lakers to Washington to Denver. Nothing worked. He looked done.

With so many injuries, the Pelicans took a chance on him this week, signing him to a 10-day deal. He had been trying to convince teams that off-season surgery had made him whole again, diminished the pain that had in turn diminished his abiilities.

“I.T. is not going to be scared,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said Monday after the signing. “He’s not going to back down. He’s one of the great competitors we’ve had in the game in my years of coaching. He’s going to go out and compete.”

NBA World Reacts To Kevin Durant’s Return To Nets

  NBA World Reacts To Kevin Durant’s Return To Nets For the first time in over 50 days, Kevin Durant stepped foot onto the floor in Barclays Center for the Brooklyn Nets. Unsurprisingly, he reminded the league why he remains one of the best players in the modern NBA. Durant entered at the 7:22 mark of the second quarter, coming off of the bench for […] The post NBA World Reacts To Kevin Durant’s Return To Nets appeared first on The Spun.

“I’m 102%, so I’m more than good,” Thomas said before Tuesday’s game. “This is the best I ever felt since before I got injured. It’s not even a question no more.”

In his debut vs. Atlanta, a 23-minute affair, Thomas played well, had eight points following one practice with the team. He shot 4-of-13 overall, 2-of-6, grabbed two rebounds and handing out two assists. How much will he play vs. Brooklyn? We’ll know Wednesday but there will be a lot of people rooting for him.

From the Vault

It’s hard to find more joy in a front office, particularly a small market team, than when a team learns they’ve won the draft lottery. In 2019, Zion Williamson was the overall No. 1 pick, no if’s, and’s and but’s and seen as a transformative player. So, the tension was high among the Pelican staff, then dissipated as deputy commissioner Mark Tatum pulled the card...

More reading: The Bird Writes

  • Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
  • New Orleans Pelicans Game Notes - New Orleans Pelicans
  • Nets facing trouble as James Harden blow masks Kevin Durant breakthrough - Ryan Dunleavy - New York Post
  • Alize Johnson provided much-needed boost for depleted Nets - Ryan Dunleavy - New York Post
  • Kevin Durant probable to return Wednesday for Nets - Greg Logan - Newsday
  • James Harden to miss at least 10 days for Brooklyn Nets; Kevin Durant likely to return Wednesday - Malika Andrews - ESPN
  • Kevin Durant comes back for Brooklyn as James Harden goes out (Video) - Ian Begley - SNY
  • NETS VS. PELICANS: KYRIE IRVING’S HOT STREAK AND KEVIN DURANT’S RETURN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
  • NETS NOTES: ALIZE JOHNSON LEADS A BENCH MOB IN BROOKLYN WIN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
  • Pelicans’ Isaiah Thomas, no stranger to overcoming long odds, says he’s ‘102%’ healthy - Christopher Clark - New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Nets are Pushing the Regular Season to its Limits .
Can Brooklyn win it all even if its stars barely see the court before the playoffs? View the original article to see embedded media.Welcome to the Morning Shootaround, where every weekday you’ll get a fresh, topical column from one of SI.com’s NBA writers: Howard Beck on Mondays, Chris Mannix on Tuesdays, Michael Pina on Wednesdays, Chris Herring on Thursdays and Rohan Nadkarni on Fridays.Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving still need to catch up to P.J. Tucker, John Wall, and Victor Oladipo—in minutes, that is. That’s how little the Nets’ star trio has actually played at the same time this season.

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