The Nets were fined as they rested eight players in a road clash against the Pacers on Dec. 10. They still won the game.
The NBA announced a $25,000 fine to Brooklyn for “failing to comply with league policies governing injury reporting” as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, Nic Claxton, T.J. Warren and Royce O’Neal rested against Indiana.
But with 33 points from Cam Thomas and three others clearing the 20-point threshold, the Nets still managed to win 136-133.
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The game marked the second contest in two days for the Nets, which prompted the team to rest most of its starters. On Friday, they played the Hawks, with Durant, O’Neale, Harris, Irving and Simmons filling out the starting five.
Against the Pacers, the starting five was Markieff Morris, Kessler Edwards, Dayron Sharpe, Patty Mills and Edmond Sumner.
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn had defended the decision to bench the eight players by saying the reasons for their absences had been documented. He said Curry and Harris had offseason ankle surgeries, Claxton had hamstring tightness in the previous game, O’Neale had a personal issue that also forced him to miss the next game and Durant was leading the league in minutes.
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“So it’s just a combination that is adding up at the same time,” Vaughn said, per The New York Post. “But we feel totally comfortable as an organization that we put the best product out on the floor as many times as possible and we’ll continue to do that. It just so happened tonight is more than one, two or three people.”
So far this season, according to lineup data from Stathead, the Nets have logged 84 minutes when all eight of those players are out. The team has netted eight total points in those minutes, for a net points per 48 of 0.095.
Vaughn apologized to fans that had come out expecting to see Durant play, but said he was “looking out for the organization’s future.”
“I would say to that fan that I’m looking out for Kevin Durant’s future,” Vaughn said, according to ESPN. “I’m looking out for the organization’s future, and really apologize if this was the game you chose. But he’s given all that he’s had in every game since the beginning of this season.”