By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Ben Simmons finally played for the Brooklyn Nets in their preseason opener. The game against Philadelphia, his former club, was his first NBA game since June 2021. That made him among a number of big names who got back to basketball action. Kawhi Leonard also returned for the Los Angeles Clippers, as did Jamal Murray for the Denver Nuggets, after they both sat out last season recovering from surgeries for ACL tears. Damian Lillard rejoined the Portland Trail Blazers after missing the final 47 games last season.