Kevin Durant Will Remain Out Through NBA All-Star Break

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Injured Nets forward Kevin Durant will remain out through the NBA All-Star break, the team announced Friday. 

Durant had a routine follow-up MRI on his left hamstring that will require him to take additional recovery time, according to the team.

"The latest images provided a clearer picture of the hamstring and while we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he has played this season once he returns," the team statement reads.

Durant will undergo rehabilitation and will be re-assessed following the All-Star break. The two-time NBA champion was named one of two captains for the 2021 NBA All-Star game on March 7 in Atlanta. 

With Durant sitting for additional rest, Pacers star Domantas Sabonis is expected to replace Kevin Durant on the Eastern Conference All-Star team as a reserve player, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The league announced that Celtics forward Jayson Tatum will replace Durant as a All-Star game starter.

Durant, a two-time All-Star Game MVP, earned his 11th All-Star selection. Sabonis is averaging 21.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists while shooting 52.9% from the field. Sabonis will earn his second NBA All-Star selection. 

Sabonis joins the Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, 76ers center Joel Embiid, Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Nets guard Kyrie Irving as Eastern Conference All-Star starters. The conference reserves include Nets guard James Harden, Knicks forward Julius Randle, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, Bulls guard Zach LaVine, 76ers guard and forward Ben Simmons and Magic center Nikola Vucevic.

The Nets (22-12) sit in second place in the NBA Eastern Conference, trailing only Philadelphia. Brooklyn is riding an eight-game winning streak despite Durant missing his sixth straight game for the Nets on Thursday.

Brooklyn's next three games come against the Mavericks, the Spurs and the Rockets before the All-Star break begins on March 5. 

Durant is averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 35.7 minutes per action while shooting 50% from the field and 37.75 from three-point range.