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Nets’ Kevin Durant out until Friday due to NBA COVID-19 protocols

Michael Holley and Michael Smith look back at Brooklyn's win over the 76ers and if the defense can find success as the offense continues to thrive with James Harden, as well as if the team is capable of a championship.

NEW YORK — Kevin Durant will be out for at least three games for coronavirus health and safety protocols before being eligible to return to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.

A night after Durant was held out of the start of a game and then removed from it early while the NBA ruled on his eligibility to play, the Nets were told Durant would face seven days of quarantine.

That means the superstar’s return could come next Saturday at Golden State, where Durant won two NBA titles in three seasons.

Durant drove in a car with a team employee three times Friday, according to a person with knowledge of the details. The final time was to the arena, where Durant was removed from the starting lineup, later cleared to play and came off the bench for the first time in his career. He was then pulled again in the third quarter of the Nets’ 123-117 loss to Toronto.

Both Durant and the employee were seemingly not wearing masks, the person told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not released publicly.

Though Durant continued to test negative, he is a close contact of the employee who tested positive and faces the mandatory seven-day quarantine. Durant was not happy about it after Friday night’s game.

It will be the second time this season that Durant - who had the virus in the spring - has missed time because of the league’s protocols. He had an earlier three-game absence.

All other Nets players and staff continued to test negative, allowing them to play as scheduled in Philadelphia on Saturday.