With both teams battling injuries, Nets host Hornets

NBA Basketball

There might be many reasons that the Charlotte Hornets would like to resemble the Brooklyn Nets.

One certainly would be the ability to withstand a revolving roster that’s impacted by injuries.

The teams will face each other Friday night in Brooklyn.

The Nets have overcome injuries to become one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets also showed the ability to climb past challenges, but now they’re dealing with a three-game losing streak.

“The standard is the standard here,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “Bring your best every single day. … It’s just going to be a challenge.”

The Hornets continue to be without P.J. Washington, Gordon Hayward, Malik Monk and LaMelo Ball. The good news for Charlotte was that guard Terry Rozier missed only one game this week with knee tendinitis, returning to post a team-high 22 points in Wednesday night’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Brooklyn’s available roster is a major topic on a regular basis. The Nets were without Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Chiozza in Wednesday night’s 123-117 loss at Philadelphia in a game billed as a battle for supremacy in the Eastern Conference despite the roster limitations. The Nets’ James Harden remains out as he has missed four straight games.

Chiozza had surgery on a finger following an injury Tuesday at Minnesota.

“This season is so many games and so many things thrown at us to continually dig deep,” Nets coach Steve Nash said.

The Nets are being careful with Durant’s playing time as he comes back from a hamstring injury.

“We want to get everybody healthy and acclimated to what we’re doing out there,” Durant said.

Guard Kyrie Irving had 37 points against Philadelphia. The Nets have lost two of their past three games.

“We grew as a team, and (our reserves) learned some things out there playing against a high-level playoff team,” Irving said.

Because of Irving, Durant and Harden — and their relatively small amount of time on the court together — the Nets’ roster availability is constantly scrutinized.

The Nets topped Charlotte 111-89 on April 1. That was Brooklyn’s first full game without Harden, who has been out with a hamstring injury.

Charlotte’s offense has sputtered during the recent skid. The Hornets reached 101 points in the first of the three games, but that was the high mark.

Assessing recent games has been enlightening for the Charlotte coaching staff, but it could be something that might be beneficial in the big picture.

“I’ve never seen these guys (in some combinations) together,” Borrego said.

The Hornets have emerged as a contender for home-court advantage in a play-in round. They’re not interested in bemoaning their recent plight.

“That’s what pushes us to be better is our competitive spirit,” Borrego said. “No excuses here. We’ll move forward. … No matter who’s out of the lineup, who’s in the lineup — who we add, who we don’t add.”

Both the Hornets and Nets have lost to the Lakers during the past week. This will be Brooklyn’s lone home game during a six-game stretch.

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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