Kevin Durant is a member of the Phoenix Suns, and all is right in the Valley of the Sun.
The 13-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion made his Suns debut Wednesday night, scoring 23 points in a 105-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
In his first game since early January, Durant shot 10-15 from the field, adding six rebounds in 27 minutes as Phoenix never trailed.
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“I feel like I fit in pretty well,” Durant said. “Everybody out there was trying to make me as comfortable as possible. I just have to keep riding it, man.”
Phoenix acquired Durant in a blockbuster trade before the NBA’s deadline, with the Suns sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four unprotected future first-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets.
The move paired Durant alongside Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, instantly increasing the Suns’ NBA Finals odds.
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Booker, who scored 37 points against the Hornets on Wednesday, was almost awestruck by Durant’s game.
“This is one of those moments that doesn’t really feel real,” Booker said, according to ESPN. “I mean, it’s just every time he shoots the ball, it’s just so effortless. You can see defenders trying their hardest to contest or fight over a screen, and he just looks unbothered, unfazed.”
Phoenix entered the night in fourth place in the Western Conference standings but could be in for a run as the regular season winds down.
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The addition of Durant is coupled with the recent return of Booker – who missed a month and a half with a groin injury suffered on Christmas Day – setting up Phoenix for a strong end to the regular season schedule.
“It’s just pretty cool to be able to give the guy the ball, and he could get to his spot and get a really good shot,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “I thought the team fed off of him just being himself tonight.”
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Hornets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report