Kevin Durant finally returned for the Brooklyn Nets in their latest game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Durant returned after a 23-game absence to set a perfect shooting night, knocking 17 points. He did not start the game for the Nets, but came in just over 7 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, by the end of the quarter, Brooklyn Nets led by 20 points.
Kyrie Irving had 24 and LaMarcus Aldridge was explosive with his 22 points. Durant went 5 for 5 and added seven rebounds and five assists in 19 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was originally listed in the starting lineup, but was removed in a revised lineup distributed minutes before his first game since February 13.
Kevin Durant ensures Brooklyn Nets return to their offensive best
Zion Williamson had just 16 on 4-for-12 shooting, ending his streak of 25 straight games with 20 points and 50% shooting. That tied Shaquille O’Neal for the longest such streak since 1954-55, when the shot clock debuted. A night after surrendering 46 points in the third quarter of a loss to Atlanta Hawks, the Pelicans’ defenseless period came sooner.
The Nets shot 55% and made 19 3-pointers. They did it all without James Harden, who will miss at least 10 days with his own hamstring injury. He sat on the bench wearing shorts. Brooklyn scored 36 more in the third, bringing a 115-82 lead to the fourth while Durant went back to the bench.