Steve Nash labelled Joe Harris "a stud" after he helped the Brooklyn Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA on Thursday.

Harris was 11-of-19 from the field and six-of-nine from three-point range for 28 points in 30 minutes in a 122-109 victory.

The Nets were without Kevin Durant (quarantine) and Kyrie Irving (personal reasons), but Harris delivered off the bench.

Nash hailed the 29-year-old for his performance after the Nets improved to 5-4.

"Joe's a stud. He makes shots, he makes plays, he battles physically, defends, rebounds, he does a bit of everything," he told a news conference.

"He's not just a shooter. He makes other plays and makes his team-mates better because of his energy, effort and shot-making."

Durant and Irving are set to be absent again when the Nets face the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

A report claimed Irving simply did not want to play against the 76ers (7-2), but Nash dismissed those suggestions.

"I haven't spoken to him yet. I can't really comment because I haven't spoken to him and it's personal reasons so it'd have to come from Kyrie, but I don't believe that to be the case," he said.

Kevin Durant could return for the Brooklyn Nets against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, head coach Steve Nash said.

Durant missed Tuesday's win over the Utah Jazz and was expected to be absent for another three games after reportedly being exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

But the star may return early, although he will still miss the Nets' next two games – including Thursday's clash against the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I think Kevin's situation is that if he continues to test negative he can play Sunday," Nash told a news conference.

"That's all I have on that, but can't wait for Sunday to come."

The Nets will also be without another star, Kyrie Irving, against the 76ers due to personal reasons.

"I just found out. I just sent him a message in the last half hour and I haven't heard back yet," Nash said.

"But obviously thinking about him and hope all is well. It's a private matter."

Durant is averaging 28.2 points, seven rebounds and 4.8 assists per game for the Nets (4-4) this season.

Irving, meanwhile, is averaging 27.1 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds.

Kyrie Irving is in it for the long haul with the Brooklyn Nets and will not be getting frustrated despite them slipping to a 3-4 record with a 123-122 loss to the Washington Wizards. 

The Nets dropped their fourth game in their past five, with Irving missing a three-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining and Kevin Durant unable to make the most of a second chance after Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot grabbed the rebound. 

There were numerous on-court discussions between Brooklyn team-mates throughout the game, with the new-look line-up trying to work through the kinks during their early season struggles. 

Irving had a game-high 30 points and 10 assists but his five turnovers in addition to Durant's six accounted for more than half of the team's entire total (20). 

Head coach Steve Nash highlighted "simple defensive lapses, offensive rebounding, and turnovers" as the primary issues, though his starting point guard is confident they will eventually be ironed out. 

"It's just basketball. I've been doing it for a long time at a high level and the greatest gift is teaching the game to others, to be able to match their level or raise their level to yours to be a great functioning team," said Irving. 

"It's just taking time. It's not going to be put together overnight, nor am I expecting it to, nor am I going to get frustrated over six games or however many games we've played. 

"The object of this regular season is to continue to get better and to prepare for the 16 wins in the playoffs, so we're just gonna enjoy this. 

"We just have to manage realistic expectations of what we want out of this group right now … [when] we put together a few great months of consistent work and consistent progress, consistent craft, consistent communication, then we'll be okay. 

"We're committed to it. I know the guys in the locker room and everyone in the organisation is committed to that. We want to change this whole thing and that's not an overnight process. 

"I didn't just come here for two years or three years or anything like that. I'm excited for the journey ahead and to continue to get better. It is as simple as basketball, but the team effort takes a while to get together."

Asked about what was labelled a "disconnect" between the bench and the players on the floor when Nash was slow to call a timeout during the third quarter, Irving responded: "I don't know what you're talking about. Disconnect? It's basketball. It's pretty simple, just go out there and try to out-score the other team."

Durant missed the entirety of last season with an Achilles injury and acknowledged he needs to "tone it down" to help the team flourish.

"I think we're just trying to be aggressive to make plays and sometimes we look overzealous to make a pass," he said of the turnovers committed by himself and Irving.

"I can live with two or three but six of them is too much for me and I've got to just tone it down if our team wants to be successful."

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