Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant returned to the court after missing 23 consecutive games and immediately put up a good performance on Wednesday night. Durant scored 17 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists as the Nets easily beat the New Orleans Pelicans 139-111.
Durant came off the bench but it didn't negatively impact him and his comeback performance didn't surprise him. "I expected to come out here and play the way I played," Durant said, per ESPN. "I wasn't trying to ease into the game.
I just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action. The game was fast-paced already, so watching it from the bench I knew exactly how I needed to approach it. But it was pretty cool coming off the bench, I can't lie.
It was also good to play in front of the fans as well."
Nets coach Steve Nash happy to see Durant back
"I think everyone's excited to see him," Nash said. "Everyone knows what a big piece of our team he is, and he's one of the all-time greats.
So I think for our guys to see him out there was definitely exciting and gave them a boost. I think we've had a lot of that this year, guys in and out, so it was nice to have him back. "It's been a long absence that no one predicted, even when it first happened, so we're just thrilled he felt good, played well and he's back, and seeing that smile on his face was important to me as well.
I'm just thrilled for him. He loves the game more than anything and he needs to be out there playing." Durant played with two new teammates -- Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. "As far as playing with him, players like that, some of the guys we have, they just make the game easy, so for me it's just about getting the reps and getting used to it," Griffin said.
Nash believes the presence of Durant will help others. "It's not hard to play basketball with Kevin Durant," Nash said. "So I think he's going to make guys better. He demands a lot of attention and creates a lot of space on the floor.
He's a shot-maker, but he creates a lot for his teammates as well whether it's through passing or just his presence."