The Phoenix Suns begin a four-game road trip with a Sunday matinee against the host Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA’s hottest team, while still waiting for Kevin Durant to make his debut.
Durant, who was acquired in a trade on February 9 and is a 10-time All-NBA honoree, has not yet played his first game with Phoenix. Durant is expected to return to action and make his debut with the Suns on Wednesday, the second leg of the road swing, according to a report in The Athletic on Thursday.
Durant has been out since January 8 with a sprained MCL. The Brooklyn Nets’ wingman was averaging 29.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game prior to the injury.
Phoenix has won six of its last eight games since Feb. 3 in anticipation of Durant’s first appearance. On Friday, after returning from the All-Star break, the Suns defeated Oklahoma City by a score of 124-115.
Devin Booker scored 25 points, his second-best performance since missing 24 of 25 games and only appearing in 4:20 of those games. Booker made 1,052 3-pointers in Friday’s victory, surpassing Steve Nash for the most in franchise history.
In addition, Phoenix has added depth going into its final 21 games thanks, in part, to the return of reserve guard Cameron Payne. After missing 30 of the previous 32 games, Payne played on Friday and scored 14 points.
On Sunday, the Suns will face a Milwaukee team with six players who score between 10.6 and 31.3 points per game, putting the newly reassembled lineup to the test.
Milwaukee won its 13th game in a row and 15th in its last 16 games on Friday, despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s knee injury limiting him to just 6:28 of action.
Jrue Holiday had 24 points, seven assists, and no turnovers in the Bucks’ 128-99 victory over Miami. Friday marked Holiday’s 10th appearance in which he scored 20 points or more since Jan. 11. In a victory over Boston, the current champion of the Eastern Conference, on February 14, he scored 40 points.
Bobby Portis, a sixth man who joins Antetokounmpo in averaging a double-double throughout the season, scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Heat’s defeat.
Prior to Sunday’s matchup, Antetokounmpo’s condition is currently day-to-day. However, Milwaukee’s options have been bolstered by Khris Middleton’s return to the rotation. His 12 points on Friday made it seven games in a row since he came off the bench to score double digits.