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#pounditSaturday, February 4, 2023

Crazy fact about LeBron James, Kevin Durant goes viral

LeBron James looking on

Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and Kevin Durant had some classic battles against each other throughout the 2010s. But these days, that might as well be an eternity ago.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the Brooklyn Nets star Durant, who remains out with an MCL sprain, is making progress and will be re-evaluated again in two weeks. While that is positive news, it also means that Durant will certainly be out for his team’s game against James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 30.

Amid the update, a wild fact (shared by Twitter user @BillyReinhardt) went viral. Durant’s absence (in what will be the Nets’ final time playing against the Lakers this season) means that his ongoing streak of not facing James will likely extend close to five years. The last time the two played in a game against each other was on Christmas Day 2018 (when Durant was still on the Golden State Warriors).

James, who met Durant in the NBA Finals in 2012, 2017, and 2018, missed three subsequent games against the Warriors in the 2018-19 season with a groin injury. Durant then suffered a torn Achilles in the Finals that year and missed the entire 2019-20 season himself. Of their team’s five total meetings since, James has sat out two with injury and Durant, now with the Nets, has sat out the other three (with a fourth absence officially on deck).

Their recent lack of matchups does not take anything away from some of the memorable rivalry moments we have seen between the two. But with James recently turning 38 and Durant turning 35 later this year, time is running out for the pair of former MVPs to produce more epic battles on the court.

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