Kevin Durant endured a rare off-night offensively, missing 14 of 21 attempts from the field, in the Nets’ fourth consecutive loss, Thursday night in Dallas.
Coach Steve Nash stressed that he tells the 11-time All-Star forward “nothing” after a poor shooting performance.
“He’s a Hall of Famer. He’s incredible at what he does,” Nash said. “Everyone has off nights. He rarely has off shooting nights. I have nothing to say to him. He’s going to be Kevin Durant, he’s going to make buckets, he’s going to cause problems for the defense, and [Thursday] was just one of those nights.”
Asked how he generally approaches attempting to bounce back after a cold shooting game, Durant added it’s as simple as “trusting my work and most of the times a mentality switch on what I need to do to be more effective and more efficient.”
As for the team’s first four-game skid this season, entering Saturday’s road game against MVP candidate Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, Durant said: “It’s all a learning experience. I’m glad it’s happening now for us instead of in a couple weeks. Hopefully we build off of this and keep growing, and I hope we feel this pain, I guess, from losing, feeling like we’re not where we want to be.”
The Big 3 linchpin wasn’t the only Net who misfired against the Mavericks. NBA 3-point percentage leader Joe Harris extended his mini shooting slump to three games, in which he has connected on just 34.6 percent (9-for-26) of his shots overall, including 7-for-19 (36.8 percent) from long distance. Landry Shamet also missed all five of his field-goal attempts Thursday after going 1-for-8 in the previous loss in Milwaukee.
“If anything it gives us probably more of a sense of urgency to go out and get a win,” Harris said. “So our next game against Denver, I know guys are pissed off. … We know the playoffs are right around the corner, so the level of focus is definitely amplified a bit.”
James Harden (hamstring), Chris Chiozza (hand) and Spencer Dinwiddie (knee) remain out.