Durant’s perfect return fuels Nets’ 139-111 rout of Pelicans

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By BRIAN MAHONEY

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant returned from a 23-game absence to spark Brooklyn’s most explosive half of the season, finishing with 17 points and perfect shooting in the Nets’ 139-111 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans. Durant came off the bench with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter. By the time the period ended the Nets had 79 points and a 20-point halftime lead. Brooklyn was a sizzling 14 for 18 (78%) in its 43-point quarter. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 in the Nets’ ninth straight home win.