Kevin Durant shines in his debut with Phoenix Suns, scoring 23 points in victory over Charlotte Hornets

Suns' Kevin Durant makes impressive debut with 23 points

Suns' Kevin Durant makes impressive debut with 23 points

In a much-anticipated Wednesday night game, Kevin Durant made his first appearance with the Phoenix Suns, delivering an impressive performance by scoring 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Durant played a crucial role in leading his team to a convincing 105-91 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. This win put an end to the Hornets' five-game winning streak. The Suns' success was greatly attributed to the outstanding contributions of Devin Booker, who scored an impressive 37 points, Deandre Ayton, who secured a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Chris Paul, who facilitated the offense with 11 assists.


Durant, who joined the Suns in a significant trade with the Brooklyn Nets on February 9th, showcased his full recovery from a sprained right knee that kept him sidelined for over seven weeks. The 34-year-old seamlessly integrated into his new team, contributing six rebounds and two blocked shots in 27 minutes of play. Reflecting on his performance, Durant expressed his satisfaction, stating, "I feel like I fit in pretty well. Everyone on the court made sure I felt comfortable. I just need to keep going and building on it."

During the game, Durant demonstrated his versatility by making two 3-pointers, sinking mid-range jumpers, and displaying his agility. Additionally, he made notable defensive contributions by blocking rookie center Mark Williams of the Hornets twice within the first five minutes of the match. While Phoenix coach Monty Williams emphasized that Durant should focus on playing rather than taking on a leadership role, his presence has the potential to bolster the team's offense significantly.

The Suns entered the game ranked fourth in the Western Conference standings, and with Durant's impact, they could be poised for a strong finish. On the other hand, the Hornets played without LaMelo Ball, who underwent season-ending surgery to repair a fracture in his right ankle. In Ball's absence, Kelly Oubre Jr. stepped up offensively, scoring 26 points for Charlotte, while Terry Rozier added 20 points.

Durant contributed 12 points in the first half, helping the Suns establish a 57-41 lead. Although Charlotte reduced the deficit to six points entering the fourth quarter, former Suns player Oubre led the Hornets' comeback effort. However, Durant, who had played limited minutes in the initial three quarters, returned to the court at the start of the fourth quarter and took charge. He converted a 17-foot shot after a ball fake, drawing a foul and completing a three-point play. From there, the seasoned veteran found his rhythm, sinking three more mid-range jumpers to extend the lead to 12 points, ultimately finishing the game with nine points in the final quarter.

On Wednesday night, the Hornets delivered the news that Ball underwent surgery to mend a fracture in his right ankle, effectively sidelining him for the remainder of the season. The young point guard suffered the injury during Charlotte's victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Ball, 21 years old, played in only 36 games this season due to various ankle sprains, which caused him to miss 27 games.

Suns coach Monty Williams opted to start Josh Okogie alongside Durant, Ayton, Booker, and Paul as the team's fifth starter, while P.J. Washington was absent for his third consecutive game.

Impressive Debut: Durant's Stellar Performance Elevates Suns, Credits Coach's Simple Plan

The highly anticipated debut of Kevin Durant with the Phoenix Suns lived up to expectations as he showcased his exceptional skills. Coach Monty Williams had a simple plan of ensuring Durant's comfort, which proved successful as the star player displayed no signs of rust, despite being on a minutes restriction. Although he missed his initial shot, Durant swiftly regained his rhythm and delivered impressive performances, hitting 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers, and fadeaways. Notably, Durant's contributions extended beyond scoring, as he adeptly passed out of double teams and provided a crucial boost in the fourth quarter when the team needed it most.

The Suns performed admirably as a team with Durant on the court, exemplified by their involvement in 30 of the team's 42 field goals through assists. This strong performance offers promise for the team's future, despite the potential challenges they may face as they continue to adjust. The victory over the Charlotte Hornets marks a solid first step for the Suns with Durant leading the way, instilling confidence and setting a positive tone for what lies ahead..