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Kyrie Irving ruled out vs. Mavericks with shoulder injury

Kyrie Irving has been ruled out of the Brooklyn Nets’ Saturday matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.

 Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball during the game against the Orlando Magic on February 25, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets have won seven straight games in a row ahead and without two of their best three players against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. Kyrie Irving had been ruled out of the contest because of a shoulder injury, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. All-Star forward Kevin Durant hasn’t played since Feb. 13 because of a hamstring injury, so Brooklyn could be at a major disadvantage against Luka Doncic and company.

James Harden will benefit most from the absence of his two co-stars. The former Houston Rockets superstar has been ridiculously efficient since he was traded to the Nets earlier this year and is averaging career highs in field goal percentage (49.2), rebounds (8.5), and assists per game (11.2) in Brooklyn. He’s won two Player of the Week awards since relocating to the Big Apple and tallied 38 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds in a win against the Phoenix Suns the last time Irving and Durant were both inactive.

Joe Harris is the Nets’ third-leading scorer with 15.1 points per game, but Bruce Brown has taken on a larger role lately and has reached double-digits in points for three straight games. Brown racked up a season-high 29 points against the Sacramento Kings earlier this week and could return a ton of fantasy value in this contest.