Ahead of a crucial matchup on the last day of the regular season against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it has been announced that all three stars, along with Blake Griffin, will again be available. With a win, Brooklyn will secure second seed in the East and will face the winner of the NBA play-in tournament’s 7th/8th place matchup in the first round of the playoffs.
Brooklyn Nets seek to create momentum with stars Kevin Durant and James Harden healthy
After missing five weeks of action due to a hamstring strain, James Harden was finally able to return for the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Although he came off the bench, Harden still managed to rack up 18 points and 11 assists. It was the first time he had been able to combine with fellow leader Kevin Durant since February.
On Saturday, the two stars were also joined by Kyrie Irving in the starting lineup as they cruised to victory over Chicago. Should coach Steve Nash choose to start all three once again against the Cavs, it will create some much-needed momentum and continuity for a team that has struggled to remain fit.
Their win against the Bulls was only the eighth game this season that all three of the Brooklyn Nets stars have played together. Although that doesn’t make for great reading heading into the playoffs, they have enough firepower to blow any team out of the water.
They have scored the fourth-most points of any three-man lineup in the league (64) and the third-most assists (15.5). Combined, they have also shot at over 50% when playing together.
With Kevin Durant and James Harden on the court, the two have a combined +/- of 7 and shoot at over 53% from the field and 40% from downtown. Durant has been the Brooklyn Nets’ second-highest scorer this year with 27 points, while Harden has led the team in assists with 10.9 per game.
James Harden will be seeking his first championship in the postseason, which Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could both help him achieve. They have three titles between them and have vocally announced that Harden can take up responsibility as the team’s primary ball-handler on offense.