Monday, March 27, 2023
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NBA Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder (31-34) at Phoenix Suns (36-29)

When the Phoenix Suns play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, Kevin Durant will be able to experience homecourt cheers for the first time with his new employer.

Durant was procured from the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 9 while he was sidelined because of a knee injury. He started playing again on March 1 and has played in three games on the road; however, the Wednesday game will be his Phoenix debut.

Durant has performed admirably for the Suns thus far, scoring an average of 26.7 points and shooting 69% (29 of 42) in three victories. On Sunday, the 13-time All-Star scored 37 points on 12-of-17 shooting in a 130-126 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks. He looked close to his peak performance.

Talk that Durant and star guard Devin Booker might not get along well was also quickly put to rest. In Durant’s first three games, Booker, the Suns’ longtime leading scorer, scored an average of 36 points on 56% shooting (42 of 75).

After being traded in the middle of the season for the first time in his 15-year career, Durant stated that he is adjusting.

The matchup against one of Durant’s former teams is getting a lot of attention, but Phoenix coach Monty Williams has no interest in the fever-pitch excitement.

Phoenix had a rough start to the season while Booker was out with a groin injury. Nonetheless, the Suns are presently burning with 15 successes in their beyond 20 games and live in fourth spot in the Western Gathering.

At this point, Oklahoma City has won three games in a row, and eight of those 10 games will be played on the road.

In the three victories, the Thunder scored an average of 132 points, including a 137-128 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Tuesday and two victories against the Utah Jazz.

Along with his 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Warriors, Giddey also had a career-high 17 assists. It was his seventh triple-double of his career and his third of the season.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, an All-Star guard, scored 33 points against Golden State. Since returning from a five-game absence, he has scored an average of 35.5 points in two games. Gilgeous-Alexander, on the other hand, and Jalen Williams, who has a wrist injury, will not play against the Suns.

In the competition for the two remaining play-in spots in the West, Oklahoma City is one of five teams separated by one game. The Los Angeles Lakers, who are in ninth place, trail the Thunder by half a game.

The Suns have won six of the beyond seven gatherings, remembering a 124-115 home success for Feb. 24. Isaiah Joe scored a career-high 28 points for Oklahoma City, while Booker scored 25 points for Phoenix.

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