Nets' Kevin Durant returns from thigh injury, drops 33 points on Suns

·2 min read

Kevin Durant made quite the statement on Sunday afternoon.

Durant returned to the lineup for the Brooklyn Nets one week after suffering a left thigh contusion, and dropped 34 points off the bench in their 128-119 win against the Phoenix Suns at the Barclays Center.

Durant played 28 minutes in the win, and shot 12-of-21 from the field while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.

“It was a good start,” Durant said, via The Associated Press. “Hopefully I’ll build on this game and keep going.”

Kyrie Irving put up 34 points and 12 assists in the win, and Blake Griffin added 16 points off the bench. Devin Booker led the Suns with 36 points, and Deandre Ayton finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

The Nets went 2-2 in Durant's absence, including the loss to the Miami Heat last week in which he exited in the first quarter.

Durant missed 3 game with thigh injury

Durant slammed his left thigh into Miami's Trevor Ariza on a drive to the basket minutes into the contest on Sunday. After being examined on the sideline by a trainer, he left for the locker room and did not return. The Nets ruled him out for the rest of the game and later put him as day-to-day

He was on the bench for a road win against the New Orleans Pelicans and loss to the Toronto Raptors. The Nets defeated the Boston Celtics on Friday night and currently are first in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia 76ers one game back.

Durant, 32, has been beset by injuries this season. He's averaging 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in 24 appearances.

Nets not at full strength down final stretch

The Nets are still not back to full-strength. They've been without James Harden nearly all of April while he dealt with a right hamstring strain. The Nets announced on Monday he had "experienced a setback" during an on-court rehab session. He is listed as out indefinitely following an MRI.

Nic Claxton is also out while in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

There are 11 games remaining on the Nets' schedule before playoffs begin. The season finale is at Barclays on May 16.

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket as Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns defends
Kevin Durant dropped 33 points off the bench in his returrn on Sunday afternoon. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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