Nets’ Kevin Durant comes off the couch, has a perfect night of shooting in exchange for a hamstring injury

Earlier this week, the Brooklyn Nets announced that James Harden would be out for at least 10 days due to a hamstring injury. The good news was that their other MVP, Kevin Durant, was on track to get back from his own hamstring problem. And on Wednesday-evening, in the Nets’ dominant 139-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Durant returned to the lineup for the first time since February 13.

However, it took a while for him to actually make it onto the field as the Nets pulled him out of the starting grid minutes before the tip. When he was still out of the game in the middle of the second quarter, there were a lot of questions about what was going on, but he eventually checked in and pretty much picked up where he left off.

He played 19 minutes off the bench – this was only the second time in his career that he hadn’t started a game – finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists on a perfect 5-of-5 off the field. He also had six turnovers, but that’s not surprising when you consider that he hadn’t played in a game for nearly two months.

After the game, Nets head coach Steve Nash explained that they had taken Durant off the bench so they could play him all the way through when the game was close.

“We just thought it was a chance to give him a chance to play in the second half” Nash saidOr if the game was tight to play the piece. That way we could manage his minutes and his minute restrictions in a way that would allow him to have an impact on the game when it was close. actually. . “

That turned out to be no problem, as Durant and Co. the pelicans worked easily. As it turns out, when the team with the second-best offense in the league (Brooklyn) plays against the team with the third-worst defense in the league (New Orleans), it usually doesn’t work out well for the last.

Durant did pretty much whatever he wanted, with little resistance from the pelicans. To be fair, they’re shorthand, but that doesn’t really explain this kind of play where Durant just dribbled in a straight line the entire length of the floor and did a lay-up.

All told, it wasn’t the most exciting game, but it was great to see Durant healthy and back in action. The next step is for the Nets to heal all three of their stars so we can finally see them in action for an extended period of time.