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Nets star Kevin Durant set to return to lineup for showdown vs. Warriors

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Warriors, Nets

Kevin Durant has played 18 games for the Brooklyn Nets this season since returning from an Achilles injury that sidelined him for more than a year. But his next game with the Nets will be more anticipated than the others because it comes against the Golden State Warriors, the team for which he played for three seasons, winning two championships and two Finals MVPs in 2017-18.

Durant has missed Brooklyn’s last three games due to COVID-19 contact tracing, but the 10-time NBA All-Star practiced with the team and will be available for their game against the Warriors on Saturday, according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press.

The game against the Warriors is the first of a five-game road trip, and Marc Stein of The New York Times reports that Nets head coach Steve Nash said that Durant is fully available to play against his former team. This will mark the 2014 MVP’s first on-court return to the Bay Area since playing for Golden State, and the team is reported planning two video tributes for their former star.

The first one will be on Saturday during the game, while the team will also be preparing another video tribute in the teams’ meeting next season, when fans will be allowed back at the Chase Center. This season, Durant is averaging 29.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists for Brooklyn while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 44.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Though Durant’s first meeting against his old team will be without fans, the Nets-Warriors contest is still an interesting one, as it will also feature two teams with All-Star players that are both in playoff contention.