Nets’ Kyrie Irving questionable to play vs Spurs

Kyrie Irving, Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets
Feb 6, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts towards guard Cam Thomas (24) in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are finding life difficult without Kevin Durant.

Now they might have to dig deeper, with the Nets listing Kyrie Irving as questionable to play at the start of their five-game road trip.

Irving is a game-time decision with right calf soreness.

The Nets have lost two straight games since Durant was diagnosed with an MCL sprain. In his absence, Irving struggled with his shot, averaging just 19.5 points on 36 percent shooting.

Second-year guard Cam Thomas is expected to step up if Irving joins Durant on the sidelines. In 10 games without Irving this season, Thomas averaged 13.2 points in 22.6 minutes.

But the Nets need more than Thomas’ scoring punch to survive.

Their gunners — Joe Harris (13.0), T.J. Warren (14.5), Seth Curry (17.0) and Patty Mills (15.0) — have shot well without Durant. But the pressure will get stronger without Irving too to attract the defense.

The Nets need more from Ben Simmons who isn’t on the injury report after sitting out Sunday’s 112-102 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder.

Though Simmons had 13 assists and nine rebounds in their first game without Durant — a 109-98 loss to Boston, the former three-time All-Star only attempted three shots and missed all of them.

The Nets have shown their ability to win without their superstars when they beat the Indiana Pacers, 136-133, last Dec. 10, which was part of a season-high 12-game winning streak.

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