The Phoenix Suns faced off against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday in a game that many around the NBA world were anticipating for quite some time. It was star forward Kevin Durant’s first game with the team. By and large, he did not disappoint.
The 13-time All-Star has been out since early January due to a sprained MCL. With this in mind, the Suns decided to work him in slowly to his new team, playing only 27 minutes. However, Durant certainly made his impact in a big way.
Durant finished the game with 23 points and six rebounds. This played a big part in coming away with a 105-91 victory.
KD showed out in his Suns debut:
☀️ 23 PTS
☀️ 6 REB
☀️ 10/15 FG
Phoenix gets the W in Charlotte, 105-91 pic.twitter.com/rAdSKeEgn3
— NBA (@NBA) March 2, 2023
He also flashed on the defensive side of the ball with two blocks, looking very much like the same player he was before his knee injury this year.
Kevin Durant making a good early impression in his Suns debutpic.twitter.com/rQRcT3YLfJ
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 2, 2023
Suns star guard Devin Booker also appeared to be extremely comfortable with his fit alongside Durant, exploding for 37 points in the win.
Devin Booker tonight:
Buckets in the Suns W 🔥 pic.twitter.com/KPiV7I8hXt
— NBA (@NBA) March 2, 2023
While it is obviously a small sample size, the NBA world seems to be impressed with how well the Suns looked with Durant finally in the fold on Wednesday night.
Pretty good embodiment of how much pressure Kevin Durant takes off his teammates when Devin Booker had 37-6-7 tonight and it will hardly be talked about.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 2, 2023
I enjoyed watching Kevin Durant play basketball for the Phoenix Suns.
— Jody Oehler (@radiojody) March 2, 2023
In his return from injury, Kevin Durant looked a whole lot like KEVIN DURANT.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 2, 2023
Kevin Durant is really good at basketball.
— Rory. (@RawrEWreckz) March 2, 2023
The obvious here, but the obvious doesn’t always come to play with super teams: Kevin Durant looks real sharp in limited minutes, and Phoenix is going to be a beast of a team
— Bill Reiter (@sportsreiter) March 2, 2023
Despite Durant’s vast experience with 16 years in the NBA, he detailed after the game that he was nervous about his debut. However, he said that his teammates did a great job of making him feel comfortable.
“There were a lot of nerves,” said Durant via Bally Sports Arizona on Twitter. “I have played in almost 1,000 basketball games but today I was nervous. But once the ball was tipped my teammates were incredible at making me comfortable and I just tried to go out there and play my game.”
Kevin Durant joins the postgame following this special night in @Suns history.#WeAreTheValley | @SweetJames pic.twitter.com/yqqg9QKM0L
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) March 2, 2023
Time will certainly tell whether or not this fit with the Suns is going to work. However, his debut certainly has to be seen as a big success both personally and for the Suns’ team as a whole.