He fit right in with his new team.
New Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant made his debut with his squad in a 105-91 win against the Charlotte Hornets. Durant looked like his usual self, knocking down pull-up jumpers with ease and using his wingspan to contribute on the defensive end.
Durant, who played on a minutes restriction, finished with 23 points in 27 minutes, connecting on 10-of-15 field goals. He also grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.
The 13-time All-Star gave Suns fans a look at how lethal the team’s offense could be with 19 games left in the regular season and the postseason approaching. With the shorthanded Hornets, who are without star LaMelo Ball for the rest of the season, attempting to make a late comeback, Durant’s nine fourth-quarter points helped the Suns secure a road victory. The easy offense that excites Suns fans about championship aspirations is what fans in Brooklyn wish they still had as the Knicks embarrassed the Nets, 142-118, at Madison Square Garden.
The Nets’ woes were on display Wednesday, getting blown out by the Knicks for the second time in a couple weeks. Durant and Kyrie Irving’s departure from Brooklyn leaves the Nets searching for an identity, lacking a consistent, elite scorer when the team needs a bucket. The two blockbuster trades landed Brooklyn Mikal Bridges, Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and Cam Johnson — good players but none with the ability of the two stars that once suited up for the Nets.
The Suns don’t have those problems.
Along with Durant’s efficient scoring, Devin Booker scored a game-high 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting. DeAndre Ayton contributed 16 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Paul scored just two points but tallied 11 assists — three of them resulting in Durant scores.
The Suns (34-29) will take on the Chicago Bulls on the road on Friday. Durant, if he plays, likely will surpass Oscar Robertson for the 13th spot on the NBA’s all-time points list. The ex-Net currently sits three points behind Robertson after Wednesday’s performance.
The four-time scoring champion could play his first home debut with the Suns on March 8 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Source:: The Mercury News