Results for March 2nd, Kevin Durant makes Phoenix Suns debut, stats, results, highlights, videos, breaking news

New team, same Kevin Durant.

The Durant era in Phoenix got off to a solid start on Wednesday night (US time) when the 13-time NBA All-Star scored 23 points in 10-of-15 shooting and added an explosive offensive element to an already made debut in his Suns added dangerous offensive .

Durant, who has played for his fourth team for the past seven seasons, added six rebounds and two blocks as Phoenix defeated the Charlotte Hornets 105-91.

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Friday 03 March

Friday March 3rd

“I’ve played nearly a thousand basketball games, but today I was nervous,” Durant said. “It’s a new team, a new group and I want to play hard for them and be trainable. So today I thought about all that.”

Durant said despite his success, he still feels he has something to prove to his teammates and coaches. New team, same Kevin Durant.

“I feel pressure on myself and who I am every day,” Durant said. “I put that on.”

Devin Booker seemed to feed on Durant and scored 37 points in the win.

“He’s just a pure basketball player,” Durant said of Booker.

Due to a knee injury that has kept him out of action since Jan. 8, Durant has been limited to 27 minutes during a playing time limit.

Wearing number 35, Durant was greeted by a loud ovation as he was introduced at the Spectrum Center, and fans held up cellphones as they struggled to capture a video of him in his white jersey.

He missed a foul line jumper on his team’s first possession, but moments later scored his first basket with the Suns on a driving left-handed layup. Durant followed up with a block on Hornets rookie center Mark Williams and then knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing as Phoenix snapped to a 9-0 lead he would never give up.

He wasn’t perfect on his return, turning the ball twice, including once when he dribbled off his own leg on a drive to the left.

“We scripted a lot in practice, but when you get down to the ground it’s a whole different thing,” said Suns coach Monty Williams. “So there were some hiccups in what we were playing and stuff like that. But it’s pretty cool to give a guy the ball and he can get to a point and take a really good shot.

The 13-time All-Star was acquired by the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal that saw the Suns part ways with Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four first-round picks. He was the last of the Big Three to be sold by Brooklyn, joining James Harden and Kyrie Irving before him.

Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts in the fourth quarter during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center on March 01, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

As with Durant’s previous stints in Seattle, Oklahoma City, Golden State and Brooklyn, expectations are high — and his arrival is another level of excitement.

“You feel it,” Williams said. “You can feel it in the (team) hotel when people are queuing outside. You can feel that in the gym. … Yes I feel it. I learned a long time ago that pressure and expectations are a privilege and that you have to embrace those things because that’s where the good stuff lies.”

Williams admitted that anything short of an NBA championship would feel like a disappointment this season, but added that that’s true of any of the league’s top teams.

Durant has been through a lot in his 15-year NBA career, but this is the first time he’s joined a new team mid-season.

The Suns are hoping Durant’s addition gets them over the hill after losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the 2021 NBA Finals.

The Suns (34-29) are fourth in the Western Conference.

Williams expects Durant to be a big positive influence on his new teammates, which include Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.

“He’s more than a generational talent, he’s a historic talent,” Williams said. “From that point of view, you can use your imagination, just from the points point of view. But I’ve tried to be open about it, not to lock him up and say, “He’s going to be this, this, and that.” So I’m looking forward to it as much as everyone else.”

Hornets coach Steve Clifford said the Suns would play hard in the playoffs.

“They now have the most important thing you have to have to win tight games in the playoffs – they have two guys who can help without the help of the pick and roll,” Clifford said. “So if you just give Booker the ball, you have to help. You cannot guard him individually. If you give Kevin the ball, no one can guard him one on one. No one. Then throw in the Chris Paul pick-and-roll piece featuring Ayton as he’s grown.

“In playoff basketball, it matters and it’s always been the same how many guys on the court can get a shot on their own and then what can they do if they go for help? And they’re two of the best guys in the league. It definitely gets them talking.”

Durant has spent the past few weeks getting to know his new teammates on a personal level and how they function on the floor, while mostly watching from the sidelines as he recovers from a knee injury that has kept him away since Jan. 8 .

He said his knee has been pain free for the past few weeks.

“Man, I missed the game,” Durant said, “I’m excited. I’m looking forward to the next game.”

This article was originally published in The New York Post and republished with permission.

Kevin Durant #35 celebrates with Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center on March 01, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


Zach Braziller, New York Post

Tom Thibodeau made the comparison first based on the work ethic and leadership shown by his best players, Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.

His rampaging team reminds him of the Knicks of the late 1990s, who were an annual playoff contender.

It’s certainly felt like those happier days at MSG lately, when the Knicks were a force and the postseason was inevitable, and it certainly had that kind of vibe on Wednesday night.

The white-hot Knicks treated the Nets like a sparring partner and didn’t allow Monday’s big win over the Celtics to overtake them at all.

Newcomer Josh Hart has said the Knicks can have an offseason, and the way they’re playing right now, who’s to disagree?

The Knicks set a franchise record with 14 3-pointers in the first half, shooting a robust 60 percent from the field and crushing the crumbling Nets, 142-118, in a happy and sold-out Garden for their seventh straight win.

They also won at home for a sixth straight season after struggling so much in their own building, and moved into all but one game of the losing column of the fourth-placed Cavaliers.

After losing to the Nets nine times in a row, they have beaten their intracity rivals twice in a row, both in dominant ways.

Embiid starts phenomenal but useless 3! | 00:41

The Nets are obviously very different now after trading Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, and the Knicks reminded them of that painful fact with a thorough swipe.

There was no let up. Hart dove into the crowd and Brunson drew charge with the game well in hand.

Thibodeau even challenged a blocking call with the Knicks, who were 26 and 4:58 left. He won the challenge.

It was such a night for the Knicks. Brunson poured in 39 points to lead six Knicks in double figures. Quentin Grimes added 22 and Randle had 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Knicks hit 20 of 35 from 3-point land.

Cameron Johnson had 33 points for the Nets, who have lost four in a row and six of seven.

Randle sank the Knicks’ first field goal attempt of the game, a sharp 3-pointer from the right corner, deep in the shot clock.

It was a sign of what was to come on an electrifying night at the Garden. The Knicks hit six of their first seven 3-point attempts and sank nine of 11 after a quarter in which they accumulated 47 points — the second-highest in franchise history — and 10 assists.

The second quarter didn’t see much improvement for the Nets. The Knicks scored 34 more points in that stanza and scored the most points in a half since they scored 82 against the Warriors on November 29, 2008.

Brunson was basically automatic, scoring 30 points in the half on 12 of 14 shots.

Every Knick except Randle shot at least 50 percent from the field as they hit 68 percent of their attempts in a fantastic shooting show that saw all the Knicks score.

The Knicks received an ovation from the crowd as Brunson dribbled at the top of the key in their last possession of the second quarter.

After the brilliant 24 minutes, he then set an exclamation point with a pretty floater on the track. It was such a good night for the Knicks that they were beaten by just one goal in the third quarter, despite committing four turnovers and playing sloppily and sluggishly.

This article was originally published in The New York Post and republished with permission.


Suns 105, hornets 91

Bulls 117, Pistons 115

Cavaliers 113, Celtics 117

Sixes 119, Heat 96

Nets 118, Knicks 142

Grizzlies 113, Rockets 99

Magic 117, dollars 139

Lakers 123, Thunder 117

Pelicans Trail Blazer TBC Results for March 2nd, Kevin Durant makes Phoenix Suns debut, stats, results, highlights, videos, breaking news

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