Everyone wondered how Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant would look against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday as he returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for 19 games.
Durant wasted no time announcing his comeback, throwing down a stylish reverse dunk in his first play of the match.
In the end, Durant finished with 16 points – on six-of-15 shooting – and posted 10 rebounds and six assists as the Warriors won 123-101 for a 14th straight victory.
It was an enjoyable outing for the forward, who said he “felt normal again” in his first game since February 28.
“You get a dunk first play of the game no matter how long you’ve been out that feels good,” Durant told reporters.
— NBA (@NBA) April 9, 2017
“I felt good putting my jersey on, running out with the team. It felt normal again. I’m a basketball player, I love playing basketball, that’s my favorite thing to do, so to feel like I’m a part of the team, feel like I’m a part of this energy that we have feels great.”
Durant played a team-high 31 minutes, and he is keen to gain more as the Warriors head into the playoffs.
“Minutes-wise, I felt good, I felt like I could keep playing,” Durant said. “I haven’t played in 20 games, so I definitely wanted to be out there.
“Coach understands the big picture, though, and 31 minutes is a lot after being out for a month. But I felt great. I just have to get more conditioned to the game each and every day.”