Kevin Durant made his return to the Brooklyn Nets lineup on Wednesday after missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury.
Head coach Steve Nash told reporters after the game that he appreciated the return of the star.
The Nets dominated the New Orleans Pelicans, winning 139-111.
Durant dropped 17 points and tacked on seven rebounds and five assists in 19 minutes of action, his first since Feb. 13.
The Nets found their way without him, climbing to the top of the Eastern Conference and compiling a 35-16 record ahead of his return. The dominance this season is largely due to Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who average 27.9 and 25.4 points per game, respectively.
While Durant was out, Jeff Green stepped up. The veteran was averaging 10.3 points per game entering Wednesday, and he made 19 appearances (12 starts) and averaged 11.7 points while Durant was sidelined.
Nash said he expects Durant's return to further help the Nets rather than hinder their abilities or his lineup options.
"He's gonna make guys better," he said. "He demands a lot of attention and creates a lot of space on the floor. He's a shot-maker, but he creates a lot for his teammates, as well, whether it's through passing or just his presence. ... I think a lot of combinations are gonna improve because of him being back in the lineup."