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Kevin Durant makes Nets debut after 18 months out due to injury

Kevin Durant makes Nets debut after 18 months out due to injury

Forward Kevin Durant, one of the NBA’s great stars, made his debut with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday after an 18-month injury loss in a preseason game in which he looked in good shape and scored 15 points.

Durant got off to a strong start in the 119-114 win over the Washington Wizards with a dunk, an assist and some good defensive action in the first minute of play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

In total, Durant had 15 points (5/12 in field goals), 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in the 24 minutes that his coach, former player Steve Nash, who was also making his debut as head coach at the NBA.

“I was anxious, nervous,” Durant acknowledged after the game. I visualized this moment for so long. Nine, ten months of thinking about what this next phase of my career would be like.

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“I felt very good, being back in the routine and on the court and feeling like a player again (…) It was a good first step,” said the 32-year-old forward.

The crash allowed them to see together for the first time the new star couple from Brooklyn formed by Durant and point guard Kyrie Irving, who added 18 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists in 17 minutes.

The Nets, who have only won one playoff series since 2007, aspire to become title candidates this season, which kicks off on December 22, with their two new figures, whom they signed simultaneously in June 2019.

Durant has two NBA rings achieved with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018 and was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2014 season, while Irving was key to LeBron James’ 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers championship.

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Nets fans have needed patience to see their stars in action as Durant has been inactive since a severe Achilles tendon injury suffered during the 2019 Finals with the Warriors.

Irving, meanwhile, only played 20 games last season due to a shoulder injury.

For the Wizards, who reserved their figures Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, the young Japanese power forward Rui Hachimura scored 18 points and the Israeli forward Deni Avidja, who also debuted after being chosen with number 9 of the last Draft, made another 15 points.

– Gasol debuts with the Lakers –

In another of the games on Sunday, the third day of the NBA preseason, the Los Angeles Lakers once again defeated their neighboring Clippers by 131 to 106.

As in Friday’s triumph, the reigning champions booked their stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis and lined up veteran Spanish center Marc Gasol, signed for two seasons from the Toronto Raptors, for the first time.

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Gasol, 35, came out in the starting five and had 6 points (3/4 from field goals), 4 rebounds and 5 assists in 22 minutes of play.

For the Lakers, the young guard Talen Horton-Tucker, 20, shone again with 33 points and 10 rebounds while the Clippers figures, Kawhi Leonard (11 points) and Paul George (9), played only 18 minutes each one.

Without their star James Harden, the Houston Rockets fell 104-91 to the Chicago Bulls with 21 points from new signing John Wall.

Results for Sunday’s NBA preseason match:

Atlanta Hawks – Orlando Magic 116-107

Brooklyn Nets 119-114 Washington Wizards

Detroit Pistons – New York Knicks 99-91

Chicago Bulls 104-91 Houston Rockets

LA Lakers 131-106 LA Clippers

Portland Trail Blazers – Sacramento Kings 106-121 AFP (HN)

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