Kevin Durant expected back for Brooklyn Nets before break, Steve Nash says

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said he expects Kevin Durant, who has missed five consecutive games with a strained hamstring, to return before the NBA All-Star break.

"We're just trying to monitor and be cautious," Nash said before Tuesday's 127-118 win over the Sacramento Kings. "We definitely have kind of slowed things down in that respect: not putting any pressure on him, not trying to rush him back in any capacity and just make sure that we give him the right amount of time to be more than healed, to be strong and conditioned to come back to the team."

The Nets have four games remaining before the break begins on March 5. Their final game of the first half of the season is on March 3 at the Houston Rockets.

Durant was selected to be a team captain out of the pool of Eastern Conference All-Star starters. Nash said he hasn't discussed with Durant how his hamstring injury would affect Durant's availability or minutes in the All-Star Game on March 7.

"I'm not sure how the league would approach that," Nash said. "So, I probably couldn't say anything on how to approach that one."

Durant did some shooting and on-court work in Barclay's Center ahead of the Nets' game Tuesday.

The Nets stretched their winning streak to seven with the victory over the Kings.

Durant has played in just 19 of the Nets' 33 games this season. He has missed two weeklong stretches in the league's health and safety protocols after being exposed to people who tested positive for COVID-19. The Nets' Big Three of James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Durant have played just seven games together since Harden was traded from Houston to Brooklyn in January.

Durant is averaging 29 points, 5.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game this season.

The Nets have three All-Stars: Durant, Irving and Harden.