Neither Kyrie Irving or James Harden suited up for the Brooklyn Nets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Thursday night.
That didn’t really matter though. Because Kevin Durant did Kevin Durant things against the Indiana Pacers.
In a 130-113 victory, Durant had his way with the Blue and Gold and was almost unstoppable. The Brooklyn star shot 66 percent from the field and dropped 42 points along with 10 assists.
Oh, he also scored 22 points in the third quarter alone. Just absurd.
Durant’s night overshadowed Caris LeVert’s most productive game since becoming a Pacer. LeVert posted 36 points with five assists and four rebounds on his former club.
“Obviously Kevin was scoring a lot but when he wasn’t they were on the glass and getting easy ones,” LeVert said. “We’re a different team when we get stops and play in transition. And we didn’t get a lot in transition tonight.”
Indiana is now just 11-19 at home this year.
Nate Bjorkgren’s team also continues to walk the thin line towards the back end of the Eastern Conference. The Pacers sit at the number nine seed, just a game ahead of the Washington Wizards and three above the Chicago Bulls.
Now there’s ten to play. Here’s whats concerning.
Injury problems have already plagued the Pacers this year. Especially the big men.
Domantas Sabonis? Hurt. Myles Turner? Out indefinitely. Goga Bitadze? Dealing with injury.
T.J. Warren has began jogging on a treadmill, but he’s still a ways away.
Against the Nets, Malcolm Brogdon was limited to just 12 minutes of action before leaving the game. JaKarr Sampson then took an elbow from Blake Griffin and he had to depart.
Bjorkgren has had some terrible luck with his guys getting hurt this season. But Indiana still made it a single digit deficit in the 4th quarter.
“It’s definitely a challenge as you saw in that game,” Bjorkgren said. “It says a lot of the guys’ will that they want to keep grinding and get stops. The list of injuries has gotten longer. But there are guys on this team that contribute in many different ways. We need to keep playing as hard as we can out there.”
The positivity from Nate never goes away.
But man, the grind of the second half has been something else to watch. It’s a crawl to the finish line at the moment.
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