Kevin Durant returned to the lineup on Saturday night as the Brooklyn Nets dominated the Golden State Warriors 134-117. Durant, who missed a few games because he was a close contact with a person positive for the coronavirus, scored 20 points in his return to Bay Area.
"We came out and played a great game," Durant said of his victorious return. "We were focused from this morning in shootaround, and it was a good vibe all day." Durant won two NBA Championship with the Warriors, before he left the team in the summer of 2019 to sign with the Nets.
Nets head coach Steve Nash believed that the game against the Warriors carried the extra weight for Durant. "We haven't talked about it," Nash said. "If there's ever a comeback game that is less than what it may have been in a normal situation, it's this one where we have no fans, it's getting closer to two years from his last game here.
So it's not gonna have the same -- I don't think -- rawness that sometimes these games can present, but I still think it means something to him."
The Warriors present a tribute video to Durant
The Warriors showed their respect and gratitude to Durant on Saturday by giving him a tribute video.
"Tribute video was cool. I think about those moments daily," Durant said. "Every single moment that I have had in this league, I think about it and try to analyze it and get better. My time here in Golden State was so much fun.
It was such a big learning experience, especially learning basketball in a different philosophy. I'm gonna take that with me for the rest of my life." Warriors head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that Durant did an amazing job during his days with the Warriors.
"This is something that is such a no-brainer. When Kevin came here and gave us three years of just incredible basketball, the least we could do is welcome him back with open arms,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
".. A guy that gave everything to us for three years then left with a devastating injury. There should be a lot of love, he did so much for us.' ' Warriors star guard Klay Thompson suffered an ACL injury in the offseason and he will miss the entire season. "Can't wait to see him back out there,'' Durant said of Thompson.