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Nets’ Ben Simmons scores four points, fouls out in Brooklyn regular-season debut: ‘It takes time’

The much-anticipated debut of Ben Simmons in a Brooklyn Nets uniform could not have gone much worse. 

Brooklyn lost their first game of the 2022-2023 NBA season Tuesday night, getting blown out by the New Orleans Pelicans 130-108.

Simmons, who the Nets acquired at last year’s trade deadline, made his first regular-season start for Brooklyn, scoring four points with five rebounds and five assists, fouling out in 23 minutes played. 

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Simmons was a minus-26 while on the floor, fouling out early in the fourth quarter. He attempted just three shots on the night and went 0-2 from the free-throw line. 

“It takes time,” Simmons said. “Having back surgery and being away from the game for a year there are little things that your mind might tell you to do something, but your body’s not wanting to do that.”

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Simmons had not played in a basketball game since June 20, 2021, when he was still a member of the Philadelphia 76ers

Simmons sat out the entire 2021-2022 NBA season after demanding a trade from the Sixers and failing to appear in a game for Brooklyn due to back issues.

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Zion Williamson also made his first appearance in a regular season basketball game for the first time in over a year, but with different results. 

Williamson scored 25 points on 11-22 shooting from the floor, adding nine rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

“It’s like he didn’t miss a beat,” New Orleans coach Willie Green said. “You just throw the ball to him and watch what he does.”

The Nets are looking to move past a turbulent offseason that saw Kevin Durant request a trade before returning to the team just two months later. 

Brooklyn plays the Toronto Raptors on Friday.

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