Simmons returns, plays 16 minutes in Nets' loss

by Gordon Dixon - Ben Simmons returned to the Brooklyn Nets' lineup on Monday night, playing 16 minutes, and finishing with just two points, in a 96-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks after missing four games because of left knee soreness.

Simmons returns to lineup, plays 16 minutes in Nets' loss 12:34 AM ET ESPN News Services DALLAS -- Ben Simmons returned to the Brooklyn Nets ' lineup Monday night, playing 16 minutes in a 96-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks after missing four games because of left knee soreness. The Nets upgraded Simmons from questionable to available earlier in the day, and Simmons told reporters at the Nets' shootaround that he planned to play and expected to be limited to about 20 minutes. Coming off the bench, Simmons finished with two points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal as the Nets fell to 4-7. Kevin Durant led Brooklyn with 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Editor's Picks Durant interested in Commanders owners group 2d Nick Friedell Inside the high-wire decision to suspend Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving 3d Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski 2 Related Simmons didn't travel with the Nets to Washington and Charlotte for the first two games of their three-game trip so he could continue getting treatment in hopes of reducing the swelling in his knee. Simmons, before the game, said he believes that the knee issue, combined with rehabilitating from offseason back surgery, has impacted his play early in the season. He was averaging 6.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists before Monday's loss. The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft returned this season after missing all of last season, first for mental health concerns while with Philadelphia and then because of a herniated disk in his back after getting traded to Brooklyn. He last played in a loss to Indiana on Oct. 29. The Nets went 3-1 in his absence. The Associated Press contributed to this report.