How does one follow up a 51-point performance? Kevin Durant’s answer was a 30-point triple-double in the Brooklyn Nets 131-129 win over the Toronto Raptors, becoming the first player in the franchise’s NBA history to record a 50-point game and triple-double in consecutive games.
Durant is the first player in the League to do so since Damian Lillard in late January of the 2019-2020 season.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 15, 2021
With seven Nets players, including James Harden and Bruce Brown, entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols just hours before Tuesdays tip, Durant was the lynchpin in the Nets win, both on the court and in the locker room beforehand when he elected to play despite being listed as questionable with right ankle soreness.
Nets Coach Steve Nash said ultimately, Durant’s will to play led to his presence on the court and the Nets not forfeiting the contest. Playing the most minutes in a single-overtime regular-season game since his days in OKC in 2014, Durant carried the Nets over the finish line with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists on 12-for-29 shooting from the field in 48 minutes.
“Man, I can’t even explain how I feel,” Durant said in his postgame interview. “It’s December, and we’re down seven players, and we easily could’ve punted this game. But we saw an opportunity for us to grow and get better, especially the younger guys who haven’t played a lot of meaningful games in the NBA, especially against a championship organization like Toronto (and it) was an amazing test for us.”
Durant has been on an absolute tear in December, averaging 35.0 points, 8.0 boards and 7.2 assists on 42 minutes per game during the Nets four-game win streak. Durant averages the second most minutes per game at 36.9.
The (20-8) Nets will have an off-day today as they prepare for their Thursday night matchup against the (15-13) Philadelphia 76ers.