For the ninth time this season, Kyrie Irving is out for a game due to personal reasons.
Brooklyn announced Sunday that Irving would be out for the Monday night game against Minnesota for “personal reasons/family matter.” Irving sat out a three-game road trip last month for personal reasons.
Irving joins James Harden as out for the night (Harden is still recovering from a strained hamstring), leaving Kevin Durant as the lone member of Brooklyn’s big three to suit up for the game. Minnesota comes into the game on the second night of a back-to-back, having beat Chicago on Sunday night.
Irving was ejected in the third quarter of the Nets loss to the Lakers on Saturday, a quick-trigger ejection by the official after Irving was arguing with Dennis Schroder (there was no fighting or shoving, they were just jawing at each other).
At 36-17, the Nets are tied with the 76ers for the top seed in the East. Winning that top seed will matter because with three elite teams in the East — Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee — the top seed will face a lower seed while the other two of those teams will face off in the second round.