Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nets Top Durant, Thunder

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nets Top Durant, Thunder

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- There are only a few men on the planet who can immediately fix the Brooklyn Nets.

Kevin Durant is one of them.

The 27-year-old Thunder star becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. And if the former MVP came to Brooklyn, where he was playing against the Nets on Sunday night, it would make them immediate championship contenders.

Despite the Nets' stunning 116-106 wire-to-wire win, there are far better basketball situations for Durant. But, perhaps, it's not so far-fetched that Durant signs with Brooklyn this summer.

Many see the Nets' future as the most hopeless in the NBA -- they are a losing team, without control of their first-round pick until 2019 -- but Durant seems to be impressed with some of the pieces on a Nets roster headlined by established big men Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young.

"You've got all the talent over there," said Durant, who scored 32 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists. "And sometimes it happens where you're not totally focused and a lot of things are going on that may distract you from playing basketball."

Of course, the Nets have gone through a huge organizational shake- up in recent days.

Four weeks before the trade deadline and they don't have a general manager or a permanent coach -- having demoted GM Billy King and fired Lionel Hollins on Jan. 10.

They also have had key players injured.

"They lost Jarrett Jack. It's hard losing your point guard," Durant said. "[Rondae] Hollis-Jefferson was playing well for them at the time; he had surgery. They have a new coach. So a lot of stuff factors into a team playing good basketball: injuries and just major changes. It factors in."

The Nets have touted Hollis-Jefferson, a rookie, as one of their key building pieces for the future. So it can't be a bad sign that Durant knows who he is.

But the Nets had lost 10-of-11 going into Sunday night and five straight. …

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