Kevin Durant came off the bench and scored 17 points on his return from a 23-game injury lay-off to help the Brooklyn Nets thrash the New Orleans Pelicans 139-111.

Durant hit all five of his shots, including two three-pointers, after being introduced in the second quarter.

“I just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action,” he said.

“I expected to come out here and play the way I played. I wasn’t trying to ease into the game.

“The game was fast-paced already so from watching it from the bench I knew exactly how I needed to approach it. It was pretty cool coming off the bench, I can’t lie.”

The two-time NBA champion, who also came up with seven rebounds and five assists, had not played since 13 February because of a hamstring strain.

But while Nets head coach Steve Nash said it was good to see Durant back “with a big smile on his face”, they will now be without point guard James Harden for at least 10 days because of a hamstring injury.

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