Kevin Durant pulled from game due to protocols

Brooklyn Webs super star Kevin Durant was the talk of the town on Friday night in what is among the strangest and most incomprehensible stories of the NBA season so far.

Simply minutes prior to tip-off, it was reported by ESPN’s Malika Andrews that Durant would not be offered to begin the video game vs the Raptors due to health and wellness procedures. Andrews later on included that he had actually been held out due to the fact that of contact tracing.

However after getting clearance, Durant went back to the group bench and looked into the video game at the 4:13 mark in the very first quarter. By not having actually begun, it was the very first time in KD’s profession that he came off the bench, ending an 866-game streak with successive starts. It’s an extraordinary stat however this story got crazier as the night went on.

In the 3rd quarter, Durant was approached by either a team member or league authorities and continued to the locker space, and he didn’t step foot on the court once again. Several reports recommended that somebody whom Durant had actually entered into close distance with somebody who had actually evaluated favorable for COVID-19, and the NBA wished to beware regardless of 3 previous unfavorable tests by the Webs forward in the previous 24 hr.

KD required to Twitter and voice his aggravation.

The Nets lost to the Raptors, in case anybody was questioning, and after the video game, James Harden shared his ideas on the scenario.

“I don’t understand the whole thing where he couldn’t play, then he came on the court, then they took him back,” Harden informed ESPN. “[Durant] feels the exact same method. Specifically with him currently having it and we get evaluated each and every single day. He’s been unfavorable. So, I do not comprehend what the issue is. The game should’ve been postponed, I feel like. If we’re talking about contact tracing. He was around all of us. So I do not comprehend why he wasn’t allowed to play, then allowed to play, then taken back off the court. If that was the case, we should’ve postponed the video game.”

Durant will miss Saturday’s game vs the Sixers and possibly longer. But aside from that whole ordeal, here are some of the best and worst performances some Friday night in the association including LaMelo Ball’s season-high scoring game and Bradley Beal’s lowest.

The good

Nikola Vucevic – After combining for 46 points in his previous three games, Vucevic hung a career-high 43 points with 19 rebounds, four assists and a block vs the Bulls on Friday night. He hit 17-of-29 field goals, 4-of-10 3-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws and thankfully, his historic effort didn’t go wasted because the Magic won the game 123-119. And I say historic because Vuc became just the third player in franchise history to record 43/19 in a game, joining Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard in that category. That’s elite center company, but if you’ve paid attention to the Magic this year, you’re probably not surprised Vucevic put up such a monster stat line. He’s averaging 22.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 48/43/84 shooting splits and ranks 12th in 9-cat and eighth in Yahoo leagues this season. That’s pretty damn good and it doesn’t get talked about enough because Orlando (9-14) is having a losing campaign. If you’re in need of depth, now is a good time to flip Vuc in a 2-for-1 deal.

Al Horford – I know Al Horford’s contract is terrible (3yrs/$81 million remaining, including this season) but at least he’s producing for the Thunder. On Friday night, he posted season-highs in points and assists with 26 and eight, adding seven boards, two steals and three blocks in just 29 minutes. He knocked down 10-of-19 shots and made three 3-pointers as well, putting up nearly 60 fantasy points in Yahoo leagues. He’s notched double figures in scoring in eight straight games including three 20-point games with a total of 22 triples in the stretch. So, if he’s sitting on waivers in your league, no matter the size, pick up him because he’s consistently been putting up impressive numbers at the age of 34.

LaMelo Ball – The most talented rookie in this year’s draft class added to his Rookie of the Year crusade with a career-high 34 points on Friday vs the Jazz. He made 14-of-27 field goals and four 3-pointers, adding four rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block. And guess what? No turnovers. *lets out sigh of relief* It was great to see LaMelo take care of the ball after committing nine turnovers in his previous two starts and more importantly, it was just great to see him remain in the starting lineup despite Terry Rozier returning from an ankle injury. After the game, James Borrego acknowledged Ball’s performance but wouldn’t say whether he’d be in the first five moving forward. But Borrego can’t ignore the fact that his prized first-year point guard has played well over the past week in which he’s averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.8 steals with 11 made 3-pointers. The decision can’t be that difficult, right?

Bobby Portis – Rostered in just 53% of Yahoo leagues, Bobby Portis is having himself a nice first season with the Bucks. Through 22 games, he’s posting 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in just under 22 minutes a night. He’s been a quality sixth man for Milwaukee as a backup big man and small-ball center, and vs the Cavs on Friday, he scored 14 points on 50% shooting with boards, a steal and a block. It wasn’t a breakout performance, but Portis has tallied 14, 18, 21 and 11 over his last four games on 62% shooting with eight 3-pointers. I was able to grab him off waivers in a 14-team league earlier in the week and recommend giving him a look in deep leagues, whenever Giannis Antetokounmpo sits games or if the Bucks have the potential to blow a team out which results in extra playing time for Portis.

The bad

Domantas Sabonis – The Pacers forward had gone 27-of-40 from the floor with 65 points and 25 rebounds in a back-to-back on Tuesday on Wednesday. On Friday, however, he was dreadful, managing just eight points and six boards on 3-of-13 shooting. It was his second-worst shooting performance of the year as he struggled against the like of Steven Adams and Zion Williamson whose individuals strengths outmatch that of Sabonis. But fantasy managers who have Sabonis need not be worried. He’s been a double-double machine and a top-60 player in 9-cat till this point.

Bradley Beal – Friday night marked not only the first time this season that Beal failed to score at least 10 points, but it was also the first time in 18 games that he’s scored less than 26 points. The NBA’s leading bucket-getter tallied a season-low seven points on a hideous 1-of-14 showing, adding three rebounds, three assists and three steals in the blowout loss to the Heat. He went 0-of-12 in the first half and per ESPN Stats and Info, that is tied for the most attempts in a half without a make in the last 25 seasons. O.J. Mayo went 0-12 in the second half of a game in 2008. The forgettable performance by Beal also snapped a streak of 17 consecutive games with at least 25 points to start a season, a record that put him in the same category as Michael Jordan. The Wizards star will look to bounce back on Sunday vs the Hornets, and despite The Athletic’s report that he doesn’t want out of D.C., it’s still #freeBradleyBeal.

Mikal Bridges – The third-year wing out of Villanova tied a season-low scoring output with just six points on Friday vs Pistons. He shot of 2-of-5 from the floor and didn’t register and 3-pointers for the third straight game. His two made goals were the second-lowest of the season, but he salvaged his fantasy night with nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Since Sunday, he has just 24 points and is 0-14 from beyond the arc, easily his worst stretch of the season and one that hopefully for him and his fantasy managers, doesn’t last long. Bridges is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player, having upped his points, rebounds, assists and more since last year. And if you thought about dropping him, don’t, because as soon as you do, you know he’s going to break out of this slump. That’s just how it works.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.