Kevin Durant leaves game with left thigh contusion, will not return

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Kevin Durant scored the first eight points for the Brooklyn Nets Sunday in Miami.

Then on a first-quarter drive to the basket, the Heat’s Trevor Ariza inadvertently kneed Durant in the thigh. Durant took his free throws, quickly came out of the game, went back to the locker room, and it was announced he was done for the game due to a left thigh contusion.

Durant had just returned 11 days ago after missing 23 games with a hamstring issue. With Durant having missed all of last season with a torn Achilles, Brooklyn has been cautious with him and that will continue.

James Harden remains out with a hamstring issue, leaving Kyrie Irving as the lone member of the Nets big three on the court Sunday. Miami is without Jimmy Butler due to a sprained ankle.

Brooklyn remains the frontrunner to come out of the East, but only if they are healthy. Will they be once we get to the second round of the playoffs and beyond?