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Kevin Durant to return for Nets-Heat on Thursday

Kevin Durant in Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 27: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets in action against P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat at Barclays Center on October 27, 2021 in New York City. The Heat defeated the Nets 106-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/2021 Jim McIsaac)

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If the Nets’ injury report is to be believed

Kevin Durant will return against the Heat tomorrow. He isn’t listed on the injury report after missing 21 games with a knee injury.

Brooklyn went just 5-16 without its best player. James Harden checked out during that span. His replacement, Ben Simmons, remains out. Kyrie Irving can’t play home games (including tomorrow against Miami) and some road games due to being unvaccinated/mandates.

So, plenty must still come together for the Nets to reach their championship potential.

But Durant can help Brooklyn – which has fallen to eighth in the East and just two games ahead of the Hornets and Hawks – stop its freefall. At least the No. 8 seed must win only one of two play-in games to make the playoffs. The Nos. 9 and 10 seeds must win two of two.