The Brooklyn Nets held Kevin Durant out of Friday's 115-113 win over the Orlando Magic because of a right shoulder sprain that has "just been bugging him a little bit."
Nets coach Steve Nash made it clear, though, that Durant's injury will not be something that will keep him out for multiple games.
"Let me put it in this context: We don't feel concerned that it'll linger or that he'd miss the next game," Nash told reporters before the game. "It's just a pocket in the season [to find him some rest] where it's not like he sits tonight and plays tomorrow or Sunday. He actually gets a few days rest on top of rest of the shoulder [before the Nets play again on Monday], and so there was multiple factors that I think made it attractive for us to choose this game for him to sit."
Durant acknowledged Sunday that he had been getting treatment on his shooting shoulder but had been playing through the issue. Friday marked Durant's first missed game of the season.
Durant, 33, is second in the NBA in scoring at 28.6 points per game while also contributing 7.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per contest.
"I just think it's just been bugging him a little bit," Nash said of Durant's shoulder. "And finding a time for him to rest is difficult, so coming out of a back-to-back [on Wednesday], the shoulder lingering a little and him having a four-day break here, in a sense, for the shoulder is just an opportunity we thought was positive for us. Unfortunately for tonight, it hurts the team, but in the long run it could help us. Those are the decisions you have to make."
The Nets were also without sharpshooter Joe Harris and veteran Paul Millsap against the Magic. Harris missed his third straight game because of a left ankle sprain, while Millsap sat out a fourth straight game for personal reasons.