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Golden State Warriors win in Kevin Durant's first game since Feb. 28

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Golden State Warriors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 123-101 in Kevin Durant’s first game since Feb. 28. The star forward scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his return from a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise.

Durant was sidelined for five weeks after teammate Zaza Pachulia landed on his knee in a game against the Washington Wizards. Initially believed to be a hyperextended knee, it was unclear when or if Durant would return during the regular season. He was medically cleared on Thursday, practiced in full Friday, and made his long awaited debut Saturday.

Durant was critical of his performance, and at times he was rusty, shooting 6-of-15 from the field and failing to knock down a three pointer in the contest.

However, he seemed to put his knee injury behind him. He played 31 minutes, and on the Warriors' first possession of the game, he blew past defenders and finished with a one-handed dunk.

Durant, who was not on a minutes restriction according to ESPN, says he felt like he could have kept playing if needed.

Head coach Steve Kerr said of Durant's lengthy return, "His conditioning was great... and I thought as the game went on, he found a good rhythm, and it was a really good night for him and for us."

Durant talked about his return afterwards, saying:

"I felt good putting my jersey on, running out with the team, going through the layup line. It felt normal again. I'm a basketball player. I love playing basketball. It's my favorite thing to do, so to feel like I'm a part of the team, feel like I'm a part of this energy that we have feels great."

Durant missed 19 games recovering from injury. The Warriors have already clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference and face the Utah Jazz on Monday and Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday before the playoffs begin.

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