Kevin Durant Calls Nets a 'Measuring Stick' for Suns After Brooklyn's Win

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, left, and Suns center Deandre Ayton, right, watch as Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) dunks unopposed the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 25, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and, when he's healthy, James Harden.

They should probably be the measuring stick for the rest of the league at this point, and Durant seems to agree with that line of thinking. 

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News asked Durant if Sunday's 128-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns was a measuring stick type of game for the Nets, and the two-time champion said, "I think we were the measuring stick for them."

He continued, telling reporters, "They're fresh on the scene as an elite team so this is pretty new to them. So we wanted to gauge and take that physicality they bring, the toughness and quickness they bring, but that's all it was. Another day at the office."

It's hard to argue against the notion Brooklyn is the standard for others given how ruthlessly efficient Durant was in 28 minutes off the bench.

He scored 33 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block on 12-of-21 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. He wasn't the only one who impressed, as Irving poured in 34 points to go with 12 assists and six rebounds on 10-of-19 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range.

That it was Durant's first game back after missing three contests because of a left thigh injury and just his 25th game of the season as he battled through injuries made the showing all the more notable.

Even without Harden and with KD shaking off some rust while coming off the bench, the Nets handled a Suns team that has the second-best record in the NBA at 42-18.

It was a frightening reminder to the rest of the league of just how dangerous this Brooklyn squad can be when operating at full capacity. If things go according to plan, Harden will eventually join forces with Durant and Irving once the playoffs roll around and give the team three of the best players in the entire NBA.

While the Los Angeles Lakers can counter with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a hypothetical NBA Finals matchup, it is difficult to envision anyone else in the Eastern Conference matching the Nets' firepower.

No wonder Durant sees his team as the measuring stick.