76ers vs Nets NBA Kevin Durant Back From COVID

76ers vs Nets NBA | Kevin Durant Back From COVID

It’s a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview on Thursday night when the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Brooklyn Nets, and it should be the return of Nets star Kevin Durant from COVID protocols. NBA oddsmakers will wait closer to the tipoff to be sure.

How to Bet 76ers at Nets NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Barclays Center
  • TV: NBA TV
  • Stream: NBA.com, NBA TV app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • NBA Odds: TBA (Nets will be favored)

Season Series

The Nets lead 2-0. The teams last played on Dec. 16 and Brooklyn won 114-105 at home. Durant scored 34 points, making a four-point play with the game tied and 1:46 left. He added 11 rebounds and eight assists. The Nets were missing seven players because of coronavirus health and safety protocols. Blake Griffin and Nic Claxton both added 17 points. Joel Embiid had 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Seth Curry had 29. Tobias Harris shot 3 for 17, missing all five 3-point attempts.

Why Bet on Philadelphia?

The Sixers won their second in a row Tuesday, 114-109 in Toronto. Tobias Harris notched his first career triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists in the victory. Harris went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter (13-14 overall). Tyrese Maxey scored his 1,000th NBA point in the 92nd game of his career.

In his sixth-straight road game with 30-plus points, Joel Embiid recorded a double-double with a game-high 36 points on top of 11 rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes. Embiid became the first Sixers player since Charles Barkley in January 1991 to have three straight road games of at least 35 points and 10 rebounds. Over his last 11 games, Embiid is posting averages of 30.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. This stretch includes six performances of at least 32 points and two 40-point barrages.

After the game, Doc Rivers was asked his thoughts on the Sixers not putting shorthanded teams away more easily as the Raptors were missing several key players. He did not hold back his frustration by the question.

“It’s funny when we were undermanned, and we won a couple games, and we had close games that we lost. I didn’t hear that in reverse. Think about that stretch where we had all those guys out and lost four or five games by one point, three points. Do you think their coach was worried that they won by one or three points? These guys play hard. This is the NBA. Every single guy in this league can play,” said Rivers.

Backup center Andre Drummond has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols and returned to 76ers practice on Wednesday. He may or may not play Thursday as he works back into shape. The 76ers hope to have guard Shake Milton back for Thursday’s game. Shake cleared protocols three days ago so it’s just a matter of if he’s game-ready. Another guard, Danny Green, remains in protocols.

Why Bet on Brooklyn?

The Nets remain without Kyrie Irving, who has yet to play this season because he won’t get vaccinated and won’t be able to play in home games, but he practiced with the team Wednesday for the first time since training camp. With New York City mandating that players get vaccinated in order to play at Barclays Center, the Nets in October decided against having Irving be with the team for road games and practices as well but they recently changed course.

Coach Steve Nash has said that Irving will need to ramp up for a week to two weeks before he can return in a road game. Irving wouldn’t play a game until Jan. 5 at Indiana at the earliest as that’s Brooklyn’s next road game.

However, Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge will return from COVID protocols on Thursday. Durant is averaging 29.7 points and was placed in the protocol on Dec. 18. Durant leads the league in ppg (29.7), is tied for the league lead in 30-point games (13) and is tied for second in 20-point games (26)

Fortunately for the Nets, they haven’t had to play too many games without KD. They went 2-1 their last three games, only half of their scheduled games in his nearly two weeks absence. The Nets’ other three games were postponed due to COVID-19.

The Nets continue to rank as a top five defense and have leaned on role players — be it Patty Mills, DeAndre’ Bembry, James Johnson, Bruce Brown and Nic Claxton — to support a starting cast that has been in flux all season long.

Brooklyn is 8-0 this season when holding its opponent under 100 points. The Nets have won a franchise record 25 straight games when holding their opponent under 100 points (11-0 last season).

In going 2-0 vs. the 76ers this year, Brooklyn has outrebounded Philadelphia 95-73 (+22), including a 21-10 (+11) edge on the offensive boards. The Nets have registered a 29-14 edge in second chance points. The Nets and Sixers were 170-170 through the first three quarters of their first two matchups of the season. Brooklyn has posted a 58-44 (+14) advantage in fourth quarters.

Game Trends

  • 76ers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games.
  • 76ers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
  • Nets are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games following a ATS win.
  • Nets are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games.
  • 76ers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Nets 114, 76ers 110


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