NBA

The Nets were expected to return at nearly full strength for the Wizards game

The Nets were expected to return at nearly full strength for the Wizards game

INDIANAPOLIS – The Nets team that beat the Pacers on Saturday night was an almost unrecognizable bunch.

The one who will play in Washington on Monday will look much more familiar.

Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, Seth Curry and TJ Warren all sat against the Pacers to rest or handle the load. Two other Nets, Kyrie Irving (left adductor strain) and Nic Claxton (right hamstring strain), were injured, and Royce O’Neale was out for personal reasons.

That’s eight rotation players, including the team’s top six. But after the Nets pulled off a surprising 136-133 victoryall the missing players are expected to return against the Wizards except O’Neale, who did not travel with the team.

“Everybody else, hopefully they’re locked and loaded and ready to go to D.C.,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Nic too.”

Kevin Durant is expected to return to the game for the Wizards.
USA TODAY Sports

Durant’s workload has been a concern for the Nets. He entered Saturday leading the league in minutes played at 994, while O’Neale was second with 971. To maximize Durant’s rest, the star did not fly to Indiana and will join the team in Washington.


Edmond Sumner had a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his first game against the Pacers since being traded to the Nets (who waived him) in October 2021. He was injured and missed the October 29 meeting at Barclays. Center and the November 20 trip to Indiana.

The athletic guard, who is returning from surgery on a ruptured left Achilles tendon and was re-signed by the Nets this summer, had 14 points in the first quarter, hitting the floor after a big played

“I was excited to play here again. I hadn’t played here in a while. It was bittersweet because I was hurt,” Sumner said. “I was excited to play. I mean, it’s all love here. I don’t have any animosity here. But I’m a competitor, so I wanted to come compete.

“Obviously, I didn’t get a chance to play the last time we played them here. So I was definitely excited. I slept in my own bed last night. I mean, it felt like home, I’m not going to lie.”


Cam Thomas scored a game-high 33 points, 21 of them in the fourth quarter.

The Nets, the worst rebounding team in the league, benefited from the power of starters Day’Ron Sharpe and Markieff Morris. They held a 29-7 advantage over the Pacers in offensive rebounds. That’s the most by any team in a game this season and the most by the Nets since they hit 30 on Jan. 19, 1998 against San Antonio.

Sharpe tied her career high with 20 points and Patty Mills scored a season-high 24 points. Morris’ 15 points and 11 boards were season highs and his first double-double since April 17, 2021 with the Lakers against Utah.


Yuta Watanabe returned after missing 10 straight games with a strained right hamstring. He had 10 points and seven rebounds.



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