Du­rant feels the love in re­turn to Seat­tle

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

Kevin Du­rant got off the bus in­side the load­ing dock of KeyArena in

Seat­tle about two hours be­fore tipoff and made a quick glance to­ward the court, vis­i­ble through the tun­nel.

He was back where his

NBA ca­reer be­gan more than a decade ago.

Du­rant was back in Seat­tle on Fri­day night along with his Golden State War­riors for a pre­sea­son game against the Sacra­mento Kings for the first NBA game in the city since the Su­perSon­ics left for Ok­la­homa City fol­low­ing the 2007-08 sea­son.

It was an op­por­tu­nity for the Seat­tle bas­ket­ball com­mu­nity to gather once more be­fore KeyArena be­comes a con­struc­tion site later this fall as part of a $700 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion that is ex­pected to land the city an ex­pan­sion NHL team.

The War­riors beat the Kings 122-96. Klay Thomp­son

scored 30 points. Du­rant had 26. None of that truly mat­tered.

All the fo­cus was on Du­rant, who along with Jeff Green are the only play­ers re­main­ing in the league who played for the Son­ics in Seat­tle. When he was in­tro­duced as the last mem­ber of the start­ing lineup for Golden State, Du­rant pulled off his warmup re­veal­ing a Shawn Kemp Su­perSon­ics jersey from the 1996 sea­son, the last time Seat­tle made the NBA Fi­nals. The crowd erupted, as if Du­rant needed to be any more beloved in the Emer­ald City.

Du­rant also took the mi­cro­phone be­fore tipoff to re­lay a mes­sage to the fans that turned out.

"On be­half of my­self, the NBA, our or­ga­ni­za­tion, my team­mates we want to thank you guys for com­ing out and sup­port­ing us," Du­rant said. "I know it's been a rough 10 years. NBA is back in Seat­tle for tonight. Hope­fully it's back for­ever soon."

Spurs rookie Walker to miss start of sea­son

Rookie guard Lon­nie Walker IV of the San An­to­nio Spurs will miss the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son be­cause of surgery to re­pair a torn right menis­cus.

Walker, 19, was hurt in the Spurs' pre­sea­son win over De­troit on Fri­day night.

The Spurs say he will have surgery on Mon­day, and that a time­line for his re­turn will be de­ter­mined af­ter that pro­ce­dure. The re­hab for menis­cus surgery is of­ten in the range of six weeks.

Kawhi Leonard sits out Toronto's pre­sea­son home de­but

Kawhi Leonard's de­but in his new home arena will have to wait.

Leonard was one of the reg­u­lars who rested Fri­day night, when the Toronto Rap­tors de­feated Mel­bourne United 120-82. The Rap­tors sched­uled five pre­sea­son games this sea­son, but Fri­day's was the only one that'll be played in Toronto. Kyle Lowry also got the night off for the Rap­tors. FROM WIRE RE­PORTS

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