‘We Belong Together’: Despite Loss, Nets’ Kevin Durant Excited About Partnership with James Harden and Kyrie Irving

Published 01/21/2021, 1:08 AM EST
Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) watches the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets stole all the headlines after they successfully traded for James Harden. This created a Big 3 for them, which includes Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. During his first two games for the Nets, Irving was missing, but tonight was their first appearance together as a trio.

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But the Cleveland Cavaliers played spoilsport on their celebrated debut as they beat the Nets 147-135. The trio did well, with Durant and Irving scoring 30+ while Harden had a triple-double. But Colin Sexton’s heroics prevented them from winning and ruined the occasion.

Despite the loss, Durant was still happy about the union of this Big 3. During the post-game interview, he said, “It felt right. It felt perfect. It felt like we belong together; like this journey together is going to be fun. Tough first start, it was an up and down game for us but I like where we are.”

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Can Kevin Durant and the Nets Big 3 show up in their upcoming games?

The Nets were on a four-game winning streak prior to this game. They won in those games without Irving, and also didn’t have Harden for two of those games. But tonight they couldn’t stop the Cavs from scoring, and they walked all over them.

One of the shortcomings of the Harden trade was the depth and the defense they lost with the departures of Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince. Their big man rotation now consists of Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, rookie Reggie Perry, and KD as well. Durant had to play 50 minutes because of this tonight. Allen was arguably their best defender, and his loss will hurt them later.

Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) reaches for a rebound against the Brooklyn Nets in the first overtime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, Sexton scored on their entire defense, no matter who was guarding him. Harden is an average defender, while Irving is worse. Both of them may have piled on the points, but neither of them could come close to stopping him.

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The Nets have one of the best, if not the best offense in the league, but they need to work on their defense now. They will be tested once again against the Cavs on Friday, before they play back-to-back games against the Heat. This could be the start of a championship run for them but they will have to work harder in practice.

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Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash reacts in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1520 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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