Kevin Durant finally gets his long-awaited home debut for the Phoenix Suns in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves as he returns to the court from 10 games after a sprained ankle from a warm-up mishap.
Kevin Durant made his long-awaited debut in the desert playing his first home game for the Phoenix Suns in a 107-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The team’s latest big addition was supposed to make its home debut on March 8th Dip during the warm-up before the Oklahoma City Thunder game He has since been out of action due to a sprained ankle.
But he returned to the court to a thunderous welcome from the home crowd Wednesday as he started the game against Minnesota.
However, it wasn’t a dream start for Duran in his first home game with the Suns since he was traded from the Brooklyn Nets in February.
He missed his first six shots from the field before hitting a jumping mid-range midfield jumper midway through the second quarter.
Kevin Durant returned to the court after 10 games to a roaring home reception
He made his long-awaited debut with the Phoenix Suns in a 107-100 win over the Timberwolves
He finished 5 of 18, and hit 2 of 3 important 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter.
In addition to Durant’s 16 points and eight rebounds, Devin Booker scored 29 points to help Phoenix beat Minnesota for its third consecutive win.
Teams are in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race, fighting to stay in the top six so they don’t fall into the tournament. Every game is crucial at this point – just three wins separate the 4-11 finish through Wednesday.
The Suns led 81-74 going into the fourth quarter and held out in the closing minutes.
The Suns are 4-0 with Durant in their lineup and the Timberwolves have snapped a four-game winning streak.
Durant played for the first time since March 5. He was preparing for the expected first game at home with the Suns three days later when he injured his left ankle during pregame preparation. The injury cost him 10 matches. The Suns are 4-0 with Durant in the lineup.
Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 31 points. Carl Anthony Towns added 25. Four straight wins were snapped for the Timberwolves.
Durant has played in just three games with the Sun prior to Wednesday night since he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets on February 9.
He made the switch while still recovering from an MCL sprain he sustained with the Nets.
Durant returned on March 1 from a knee injury he suffered in early January that caused him to miss 20 games.
In addition to Durant’s 16 points and eight rebounds, Devin Booker (L) scored 29 points.
Durant slid on the court and sprained his ankle while warming up for the Suns on March 8
The Thunder was supposed to be his home debut with the Suns, but as he drove to the basket on a pre-game routine he appeared to roll his ankle and go to the ground.
He got up and finished his practice but was later left out of the game and veteran striker Tore Craig was included in the squad in his stead.
In his previous three matches with Phoenix, Durant averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.
Durant’s trade from the Nets came shortly after point guard Kyrie Irving was transferred from Brooklyn to the Dallas Mavericks.