Kevin Durant sets new career-high 55 points as Nets lose to Hawks 122-115
April 4, 2022
Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant dropped a career-high 55 points on Saturday night in the regular season NBA matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. On top of that, he also set a career-high eight 3-pointers on the same night, but the Nets ended up losing 122-115 nonetheless.
Durant said he was frustrated about how the team was "undisciplined" in defense. He also could not get over the fact that Brooklyn allowed Atlanta to go to the free throw line 49 times, which is significant as compared to the Nets’ 19.
"We're fouling early. We put them in the bonus early every quarter; 37-14 free throw makes. And it's not 'cause of the refs, it was because we're reaching and being undisciplined and just playing too aggressive. That's the game. They shot 42% from the field which is great defense, 31[%] from the 3. They outrebounded us by two, and one more assist than us ... it's just fouls. And we can't do that if we want to be a winning team," said KD.
Upon the loss, the Brooklyn Nets slid into 10th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 40 wins and 38 losses. On a night where they should have been celebrating Durant's career achievement, the Nets were left to ponder how they could not provide the assistance for Durant to close an important game over the Hawks that just passed them over in the standings.
"It doesn't even feel like he had 55 tonight," Nets guard Kyrie Irving said. "You know what I mean? Just the way that we feel about the game afterward."
Every loss is deflating, KD says
Durant who finished the night 19-for-28 from the field, 9-for-11 from the free throw line, 8-for-10 from deep, along with three assists and seven rebounds in 42 minutes said this particular loss was not any more disappointing given his career night.
"Every loss is deflating. I ain't even worried about that, I'm just mad at the loss,” Durant said. “I'm glad I shot the ball well. Made eight 3s, a career high, but I wish we would have come out with a W just by doing the little stuff. My points are going to come, my shots are going to come, but the little stuff that we got to do, we got to be on the same page with."
Irving finished the night with just 12 shots made out of 32 from the field. Despite his 31 points contribution, he seemed to be struggling to find a rhythm on either end of the floor. Kyrie took “full accountability for needing to do a better job defensively in the post and “play without fouling.” Irving was also disappointed how he and the rest of the team could not do more to help Durant on offense.
"We just have to ease his burden on the offensive end," Irving said. "He's going to be Kevin Durant. We know who he is. We know what he's capable of, but we have to be there to support him. And we have to be there ready to play just as much as he is and not allow frustration seep in at all."
Despite the loss, both Durant and Irving remain convinced that the Nets can still get back on track before the play-in tournament starts.