Nets’ Durant injures thigh in loss to Heat; Knicks beat Pelicans

BROOKLYN Nets star Kevin Durant sustained a left thigh contusion in the first quarter against the Miami Heat on Sunday and missed the remainder of the team’s 109-107 road loss. — BROOKLYN NETS FB PAGE

BROOKLYN Nets star Kevin Durant sustained a left thigh contusion in the first quarter against the host Miami Heat on Sunday and missed the remainder of the team’s 109-107 road loss.

Durant scored the Nets’ first eight points before exiting the game with 7:57 left in the first quarter after tangling with Heat forward Trevor Ariza on a drive to the basket.

Nets coach Steve Nash said afterward that Durant will be further evaluated on Monday.

“He’s sore,” Nash said. “But we don’t know how severe. We’ll see tomorrow how he wakes up and goes from there.”

Durant returned to the Nets’ lineup on April 7 after a 23-game absence due to a hamstring injury. Durant played in four of Brooklyn’s previous five games and averaged 23.8 points, 6.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds during that span.

Although Durant was still on a minutes restriction, Nash said prior to the game that the plan was for the 11-time All-Star to be able to play over 30 minutes on Sunday.

Guard Kyrie Irving said it was unfortunate for Durant to go down with another injury.

“Any time one of our teammates goes down, any time something like that happens, it’s definitely going to take a hit for us,” Irving said. “And he’s just gotten back. We just pray that it’s not too serious and he’s able to recover, but it definitely has a hit on our continuity, at times.”

Durant has played in just 24 of Brooklyn’s 57 games. He is averaging 27.3 points per game.

The Nets continue to play without James Harden (hamstring), who has sat out the last six contests.

Randle tows Knicks to win

Meanwhile, Julius Randle had 33 points and 10 assists as the hosts New York Knicks won their sixth consecutive game by defeating the New Orleans Pelicans (122-112) in overtime Sunday afternoon.

Randle added five steals, Derrick Rose scored 23 off the bench, RJ Barrett scored 18, Reggie Bullock had 15, and Nerlens Noel added 12 as New York beat New Orleans for the second time in its past three games. Barrett and Bullock both fouled out.

Zion Williamson had 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Pelicans, while Eric Bledsoe scored 22, Brandon Ingram added 19 and Steven Adams had 10 points and 14 rebounds. New Orleans lost in overtime for the second consecutive game after falling at Washington (117-115) on Friday. — Reuters