Kevin Durant's absence cannot be used as an excuse by the Brooklyn Nets, insists head coach Jacque Vaughn.
Durant sprained the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee in the third quarter of the Nets' 102-101 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday, with reports suggesting he could be sidelined for around a month.
Brooklyn confirmed the result of scans a day later, saying the 12-time NBA All-Star would be "reevaluated in two weeks."
Durant is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season.
Vaughn does not want his players to dwell on being without their star player, though, as they look to build on a fine record of 27-13, including a run of 18 wins from their last 20 games that sees them sit second in the Eastern Conference.
"That's the biggest thing. I'm not giving this group a chance to make excuses," he said on Wednesday.
"Here to play. Here to win. Here to compete. It doesn't change. Love them."
Brooklyn host the only team in the league with a better record than them, the Boston Celtics, on Thursday.
The first 18-2 stretch in franchise history pic.twitter.com/0igQLT0seg— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 11, 2023