Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant received medical clearance to play in his first game this season on Tuesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Durant’s season debut comes six weeks after he suffered a broken right foot and underwent surgery on Oct. 16 to repair a Jones fracture. He missed 17 games.
The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player began participating last week in noncontact drills with the team and was part of a full practice on Monday.
Last season, Durant averaged an NBA-leading 32.0 points per game, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists en route to the league MVP award.
—Charles Barkley said he agreed with the decision of a grand jury not to indict the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“If it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the wild, wild West in our neighborhoods,” Barkley told 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia. “We can’t pick out certain incidentals that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad. … Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?”
Barkley said he was disturbed by the actions of some protestors who turned vandals and looters after the announcement.
“Those aren’t black people, those are scumbags,” said Barkley, who is known for his strong opinions as an NBA analyst on TNT. “There is no excuse for people to be out there burning down people’s businesses, burning down police cars.”
—The NBA fined Denver Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo $15,000 for making excessive contact above the shoulders with Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks.
The incident took place on Dec. 1 in the fourth quarter of the Nuggets win over the Jazz. Afflalo was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game.
—The Houston Rockets recalled center Clint Capela from Rio Grande Valley of the NBA Development League.
Capela played in one game for the Rockets and had three rebounds and one assist against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 6. In six games this season with the Vipers in the D-League, he averaged 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks.
Capela was the 25th overall selection by the Rockets in the 2014 NBA Draft.
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