Kevin Durant an All-Star captain for second straight year

Kevin Durant may not actually play in the game, but for the 12th time, he is an All-Star — and for the second time, a captain.

The Nets forward, who is currently sidelined by a sprained MCL, was announced on Thursday as a starter for next month’s NBA All-Star Game. He was also named a captain for the second straight year as the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference.

Durant was putting together an MVP-caliber season before suffering his knee injury on Jan. 15. In 36 games, he was averaging a league-high 29.3 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 36.5 minutes.

Coach Steve Nash said Wednesday night that Durant would be reevaluated within the next week, declining to confirm or deny a report that Durant would miss the All-Star Game to continue his rehab.

The All-Star reserves will be announced next Thursday, with James Harden a candidate to be added to the roster for the Feb. 20 game in Cleveland.

Kevin Durant’s status for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game is still up in the air.
Corey Sipkin

The Nets’ rookie class has taken on a bigger role over the past month, and on Wednesday against the Nuggets, it was Cam Thomas’ turn to take the reins again.

On a night when the Nets were missing their established scorers, Thomas came off the bench and poured in a career-high 25 points on 8 of 14 shooting. That included shooting 4 of 6 beyond arc despite only shooting 25.6 percent from there this season.

“I just had a chance to shoot more [Wednesday], get more of a rhythm, so it paid off,” Thomas said. “I work on the same stuff every day, so me going 4-for-6 is nothing new. It’s not surprising.”

Nash said the Nets know Thomas can make shots, but added that the guard had to continue to work on shot selection and making early reads out of pick-and-rolls to help in that regard.

“He’s obviously got a long way to go as well, [but] for him to be able to do what he does on the offensive end is great,” Patty Mills said.

Point guard Jevon Carter, who has seen his minutes off the bench cut back recently, registered a season-high 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting from deep against the Nuggets.

“For him to come out and knock down some pretty big shots was pleasing,” Mills said. “I think that’s an important point — that the genuine care for someone like JC, for example, who comes out and makes big shots, the genuine pleasure that you get from seeing him do well after what he’s been going through, I think is something that I definitely feel and I think other guys on the team feel it.”

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