First, Kevin Durant attacked the rim and dunked. Then he shot over the top of his defender. Then he hit a one-legged fade away.
Kevin Durant looked like Kevin Durant again — at least for stretches — in his return, his debut for Brooklyn after missing all of last season recovering from a torn Achilles. Durant scored 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting, moved fairly well, and gave Nets fans hope for the future.
That included a dunk to open the game and some strong footwork that has always been part of what set Durant apart.
Durant may have looked good in his return, but Kyrie Irving looked better, showing off his impressive handles on his way to 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Irving played in just 20 games last season due to injury and he looked closer to midseason form with his play.
Don’t read too much into any of this. Durant and Irving looked good in a meaningless preseason game against a Wizards team sitting both Bradley Beal or Russell Westbrook, plus Washinton will struggle defensively in the best of circumstances. Durant and Irving had their moments against a disengaged defense. There are far tougher tests ahead.
But for a first game together — and for Durant, the first game since the 2019 NBA Finals — there were promising signs.
Brooklyn held on to win 119-114 against a Washington team led by Rui Hachimura scoring 18.