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Kevin Durant comes back in stupendous style as Brooklyn Nets open season with unequivocal home win



In front of the Nets’ season opener against the Warriors, Golden State mentor Steve Kerr plunked down to observe some film of his previous player Kevin Durant. He pulled up Brooklyn’s preseason game against Boston and took in Durant’s first serious play since tearing his Achilles in June of 2019.

“I didn’t know what to expect given that it’s been really a year and a half since his last game,” Kerr said. “But I could not tell one difference between seeing him 18 months ago and seeing him the other night.”

Durant has avoided making any broad decrees, yet Kerr got an unparalleled view to Durant’s strength on Tuesday as he set up 22 focuses in a 125-99 triumph against his previous group.

Also, this time, it wasn’t a preseason warm-up.

“I think we had a solid first start,” Durant said after the game. “So we want to build on it. I was looking forward to coming out here and getting a ‘W,’ and I was glad we were able to come out and finish the job.”

Durant depleted midrange jumpers over Andrew Wiggins, raised for one-gave pummels, strung the ball through safeguards to discover DeAndre Jordan at the edge and sprinkled in 3s. While he wasn’t on a minutes limitation, mentor Steve Nash said before the game that he would be “thoughtful” with Durant’s playing time. He wound up out on the floor for 25 minutes.

Alongside his scoring, Durant had 5 bounce back, 3 helps and 3 takes. He shot 7-of-16 from the field and didn’t miss from the free toss line in seven endeavors. Durant said that he didn’t feel he expected to demonstrate that he could coordinate his degree of play in 2019 to come to a meaningful conclusion.

“I don’t think I have to show anybody anything,” Durant said. “I’m just going to come out there and just hoop … So, I don’t feel like I’ve got to prove myself, but I want to go out there and be able to do whatever Coach needs me to out on the floor.”

Heroes star Stephen Curry had the option to summarize confronting his previous colleague in single word: “Awful.”

“With KD out there — the way that he looked, he looked all the way healthy, confident in his body, so it was good to see obviously from a health standpoint,” Curry said. “That means a lot to come off an injury like that.”

With Durant and Kyrie Irving driving the way, Brooklyn got steam rapidly. The Nets leaped out to a 18-8 lead in the primary quarter after Durant took off toward the bushel and conveyed a definitive dunk. He piled up a brisk 10 focuses in the principal quarter, and Irving – who hasn’t played serious b-ball since February in the wake of harming his shoulder – drove the group with a mid 17 focuses.

Irving – who nailed almost unthinkably profound 3-pointers and exhibited his showy, signature ballhandling – got done with a group high 26 focuses.

Irving said after the game that he was energized by the game, however has bigger objectives for the season. He said on occasion in his vocation, he was up to speed “just trying to play ‘hero’ basketball.”

This season, he stated, he is attempting to zero in additional on aggregate group objectives.

“As a young player,” Irving said, “you think that scoring a bunch of points, doing a bunch of things, getting a bunch of accolades are great. I definitely was going after those things, and now, I really don’t care for any of those individual accolades or goals. It doesn’t bother me. I know I’m validated culturally. That’s all that matters. I don’t need All-NBA; I don’t need the MVP. I just want the championship with a great team that I can look back in history and say, ‘We did it our way, and we had fun doing it.'”

Neither Durant nor Irving played in the final quarter.

As Durant advanced toward the seat toward the finish of the second from last quarter, his night complete, he high-fived each partner and mentor, smiling as he advanced from the primary line of collapsing seats to his seat in the subsequent line. He gazed up at the scoreboard, as though taking in the numbers behind his return that were shown, and pulled his dim warm-up shirt over his head.

With Irving close by, Durant looked as their colleagues added to Brooklyn’s lead. At a certain point in the final quarter, the Nets were up by more than 30. Durant applauded and given out more high-fives, the following stage of his rebound total.


Brooklyn Nets sign Alize Johnson to a multiyear, $4.1M contract



Forward Alize Johnson has consented to a multiyear deal the Brooklyn Nets worth up to $4.1 million, his agent, George Langberg, revealed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Johnson’s productivity permitted him to parlay two consecutive 10-day contracts into his new deal with the Nets.

Johnson had his choice of a bit more guaranteed money elsewhere, however needed to stay the course with the Nets, where he has averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds on 65.7% shooting in six appearances.

Prior to joining the Nets, Johnson played 31 games with the Indiana Pacers over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

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Los Angeles Angels’ Dexter Fowler with torn ACL injury, out for season



Los Angeles Angels starting right fielder Dexter Fowler has a torn left ACL that will require season-ending surgery, the group declared Sunday.

Fowler, 35, injured himself while sprinting into a second base on an attempted forceout in Friday’s down against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida. Fowler beat the throw from Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette and didn’t slide, inciting him to show up gracelessly and crumple to the ground in pain.

The Angels at first diagnosed Fowler to have a sprained left knee, however a follow-up MRI revealed that it was far more serious. The team said Fowler is expected to need six to nine months to recover after surgery.

“Comeback season has commenced,” Fowler said Sunday. “The cards I’ve been dealt, so you’ve got to deal with them and go at it like that.”

Fowler, who is set to be a free specialist after the season, doesn’t think the injury is career-ending.

“I want to continue to play,” he said. “I think I’ve still got a lot left in the tank. Right now I just want to get the knee back right and get going again.”

Heavenly messengers director Joe Maddon said he replace Fowler with Juan Lagares and Jose Rojas, the last of whom is right now serving in as a utility infielder. Before Sunday’s down against the Blue Jays was delayed because of downpour, Rojas had been scheduled to begin at third base instead of Anthony Rendon, who was managing irritation in his left crotch that came about because of a throw Saturday.

Fowler, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in early February, was 5-for-20 with six strikeouts to start the 2021 season and has batted .218/.320/.370 in the course of recent years. Be that as it may, Maddon, who recently oversaw Fowler with the Chicago Cubs, said he accepted the outfielder was simply beginning to get moving obnoxiously and will miss his essence in the team.

“He’s one of those glue guys, man,” Maddon said. “He really makes a difference. He does. You talk about it all the time with clubhouse guys, but this guy really is one.”

Fowler’s injury creates an immediate opening for the Angels’ two most encouraging youthful players, Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, both of whom are working out at the group’s substitute site in Tempe, Arizona, before the small time season starts. Adell battled as a new kid on the block a year ago, and Marsh presently can’t seem to play above Double-An in the wake of expenditure the Covid abbreviated 2020 season playing mostly intrasquad games.

Maddon said he would concede to the Angels’ minor league development staff on when Adell and Marsh are major league ready.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that they’ve tightened up their game [from spring training] to the point where you want to bring them up yet,” Maddon said.

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Bengals release RB Giovani Bernard after eight seasons



The Cincinnati Bengals have released veteran running back Giovani Bernard, the team declared on Wednesday.

Bernard, 29, has played all of his eight NFL seasons with the franchise that drafted him in the second round in 2013. He has showed up in 115 games and rushed for 3,697 yards and 22 touchdowns. He likewise had 342 receptions for 2,867 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The former North Carolina player was entering the last year of a two-year extension he endorsed in September 2019. The Bengals will acquire $4.1 million in salary-cap savings with Bernard’s release and incur just $666,667 in dead money against the cap, as indicated by Roster Management System.

Bernard began a career-high 10 games in 2020 in light of the fact that Joe Mixon was out with a foot injury. His best rushing performance was a 83-yard exertion in a win over Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football, the Bengals’ first victory over the Steelers since 2015. It was Bernard’s most elevated hurrying absolute since Week 16 of the 2017 season.

Mixon, who marked a four-year, $48 million extension a year ago, tweeted Wednesday that he “can’t thank him enough for all he has meant to my career.”

The Bengals have parted ways with several notable veterans who were essential for the group’s season playoff runs from 2011 to 2015. The team released former All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins prior this offseason and didn’t re-sign former Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green.

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