In his first preseason game and for the first time in 18 months, basketball fans got to see Kevin Durant step foot on an NBA court. Brooklyn Nets fans especially have waited so long for Durant’s return, and he did not disappoint in his return.
Durant along with Kyrie Irving both came out of the gates fast during the first quarter. The two combined for 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in the quarter on an unbelievable 8/9 shooting. Any concerns of the two struggling in their first preseason game soon went away quick.
The Nets’ lead ballooned to as much as 26 during the second quarter, with a few key players making their Nets debuts. This included three-point marksman Landry Shamet, long-time veteran Jeff Green, and second-round pick Reggie Perry. Surprisingly, Bruce Brown did not see any action in his first game as a Net.
The Nets went into half-time with an 18-point lead, but the game did start to tighten up a bit during the third quarter. The Wizards led by Deni Advija and Rui Hachimura outscored the Nets 34-22 in the quarter, even tying the game at one point. Kyrie Irving did not play at all during the third quarter, but that was a part of the original gameplan. Nothing to be concerned about considering it is preseason game one.
The Nets relied heavily on their G-League squad during the fourth quarter, as they went back-and-forth with Washington. Chris Chiozza hit the three-point dagger with about 30 seconds left, as he sealed the game for Brooklyn. The Nets ultimately won their first preseason game 119-114.
Brooklyn looked very good early in their first preseason game with Durant and Irving, but you can still see the rust from both teams as the game progressed. The Nets and Wizards combined for 30 turnovers and 67 free throws, which is obviously very sloppy. Again, it’s only the first preseason game of the season, and both teams are still trying to form team chemistry.
A win is still a win for the Nets, I’m sure they’ll gladly take it. Brooklyn will play their second and final preseason game on Friday in an exciting matchup with the Celtics. It will be Irving’s first game back in Boston and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
Performances of Note
Kyrie Irving – 18 points, 4 rebounds, 7-9 FG, 2-3 3PT, 17 minutes
Kevin Durant – 15 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 5-12 FG, 5-6 FT, 24 minutes
Spencer Dinwiddie – 10 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 3-6 FG, 4-6 FT, 25 minutes
Taurean Prince – 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3-5 FG, 3-4 3PT, 22 minutes
Landry Shamet – 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3-7 FG, 3-5 3PT, 4-7 FT, 21 minutes
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot – 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3-5 FG, 1-3 3PT, 4-5 FT, 20 minutes
Rui Hachimura – 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3-4 3PT, 23 minutes
Deni Advija – 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 6-6 FG, 3-3 3PT, 24 minutes
Raul Neto – 17 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 4-6 FG, 9-10 FT, 25 minutes
Troy Brown Jr. – 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5-11 FG, 2-3 3PT, 2-3 FT, 22 minutes
Thomas Bryant – 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4-8 FG, 2-5 3PT, 22 minutes
Moritz Wagner – 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 5-9 FG, 2-3 3PT, 18 minutes
Garrison Mathews – 10 points, 3-6 FG, 2-3 3PT, 2-4 FT, 20 minutes