With about a minute remaining in the game, fans started “KD sucks” chants in the arena. For a limited capacity basketball game due to the coronavirus, the chants were picked up on the ESPN telecast.
Durant has been sidelined for most of the season with injuries but even as he made his return Brooklyn was sure to keep his minutes limited. Brooklyn is going to need Durant, and the rest of the All-Star team, to be healthy to make a deep run into the playoffs.
Philadelphia won the game, 123-117. Joel Embiid led the way with 39 points and 13 rebounds. Tobias Harris added 26 points, five rebounds and three assists. Brooklyn was without Durant, James Harden, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.
The win put the 76ers back into first place with a 38-17 record. Brooklyn is now in second place with a 37-18 record. The two teams definitely have a good shot to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“When the playoffs start, it’s a whole new beast. And we’ll be ready for them,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “And I’m sure they’ll be ready for us.”
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash added: “It’d be great to have the No. 1 seed. I think it means a lot, it’s valuable. But not at the expense of losing players or prolonging our injury situation. So I think we have to be very careful and make sure that our guys get to the finish line as whole as possible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.