Durant was not available to start due to health and safety protocols, the team announced shortly before tipoff. Durant had come into contact with someone thought to have been exposed to the coronavirus, but after that person underwent further testing, Durant was cleared to play, sources told ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Durant started each of his first 866 career games before Friday night. That is the fourth-longest streak to start a career among players to debut since 1970-71, when starts became official.
Durant, who had COVID-19 last March, is the second-leading scorer in the NBA, averaging 30.8 points per game. He previously missed three games in early January due to health and safety protocols.