Kevin Durant Ruled out for Nets vs. Magic with Ankle Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 17, 2021

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) talks to a fan during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant's ankle issues will keep him out for at least one game. 

Per NBA.com's Mark Medina, the Nets have ruled out Durant for Saturday's matchup with the Orlando Magic. 

The 11-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA player and three-time Olympic gold medalist has averaged 29.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game for the 21-8 Nets, who are first in the Eastern Conference.

He's undoubtedly an invaluable member of the Nets, and that was most evident when he nearly carried the team to an Eastern Conference semifinals victory over the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks with fellow Brooklyn superstars James Harden and Kyrie Irving both sidelined with injury. KD averaged 35.4 points per game in that series, including 48 in a Game 7 overtime defeat.

This year's Nets also have championship aspirations, although they are doing so without Irving (ineligible to play because of COVID-19 protocols).

Brooklyn is also dealing with COVID issues that have left the roster in a state of disarray. The team has seven players in the NBA's health and safety protocol, including James Harden. 

Losing Durant as well is a tough blow for the Nets, whose first game without KD this year occurred in a 115-113 home win over the Magic on Nov. 19. Durant was out with a left shoulder sprain.

Durant also rested for a Dec. 8 matchup against the Houston Rockets, who won that one 114-104. 

The Magic (5-24) are in such a state that the Nets don't need Durant to win, but their roster is thin because of injuries and health and safety protocols.