NBA

Nets star Durant happy to be back for first game in 552 days

After his first game since June last year, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant was happy to be back in a pre-season victory over the Washington Wizards.

Durant keen to keep building after first game in 552 days

Kevin Durant felt good on his Brooklyn Nets debut and the star wants to continue building after returning from injury.

Durant missed last season after rupturing his Achilles while playing for the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Making his first appearance since June 10 last year – and his first for the Nets – Durant scored 15 points in 24 minutes in Brooklyn's 119-114 preseason win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

The two-time champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP was pleased to be back for the first time in 552 days.

Durant: "I felt like I knocked some rust off"

"Man, it felt good," Durant told YES Network as Wizards recruit and former team-mate Russell Westbrook watched from the sidelines.

"Obviously the circumstances are different, no fans in the stands and I know the Nets fans were looking forward to this day, but hopefully enjoyed it on TV.

"It's the first step for me as a player, getting back on the court, getting back into my routine and I felt good. I felt like I knocked some rust off early on and I've just got to keep building from here."

Durant was five-of-12 from the field and also had three rebounds and three assists for the Nets, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The 32-year-old is already hoping for further improvement, saying he lost rhythm in the second half.

"I felt great in the first half, second half I didn't focus in enough on the shots that I took, I wish I had made all of those shots," Durant said.

"I took a bad three to start the quarter and that kind of threw me off rhythm a little bit. It's good to just go through this stuff again and I'll watch film tomorrow and just keep going."

It was the first time star duo Durant and Kyrie Irving shared the court together for the Nets, after the latter arrived from the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Irving had 18 points on seven-of-nine shooting and two-of-three from three-point range, to go with four assists.

The Nets face the Celtics on Friday before beginning their season against the Warriors four days later.