Suns win, Booker brilliant in Durant’s Phoenix debut

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

In a game that meant a lot to the Phoenix Suns organization and fans, the homegrown superstar stole the show during KD’s big debut.

Hopefully, this is how it will be for the Phoenix Suns as the season moves forward en route to a Championship. One night one player will step up and have a great game, and the next night a different player will step up and have a monster, and on any given night, any of three or four players could carry the Phoenix Suns to victory. On Wednesday evening in Charlotte, the story was about the debut of new Suns superstar Kevin Durant. However, Phoenix’s homegrown star Devin Booker was the star of the show in the Suns’ 105-91 win over the Hornets.

Durant and the Suns out to an early lead on the Hornets

Although he missed his first shot from the field, Durant did not take long to warm up, hitting his next two shots and scoring five of Phoenix’s first seven points. Those buckets, followed by a dunk and a layup by Booker, put the Suns up 11-0 to start the game.

The game was not a blow-out per se; Phoenix was in control throughout. Charlotte cut into the lead several times, getting it down to 1 in the first quarter, but the suns led the entire game, ballooning the lead to 20 at one point. The Hornets made a run in the third and to start the fourth quarter, but nine straight points from Durant ended the threat.

It was a solid first game overall for Durant, with 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting in just under 27 minutes. Any other time, KD might be the story, or it might be Chris Paul and his 11 assists, or Deandre Ayton’s 16 points, 16 rebound performance; however, Booker was the dominant force on the court on Wednesday.

Booker was brilliant in almost every way Wednesday

Shooting over 57% by going 15 for 26 in Charlotte, Booker was excellent. Adding six rebounds and seven assists to go with his 37 points, with just one turnover, shows you just how dominant DBook was with the ball.

The one place Booker wasn’t terrific was at the free throw line, where he uncharacteristically missed two of his six attempts, which KD noted in a postgame interview. Such is the focus for Phoenix now, which is about getting better at basketball constantly. On Wednesday, there was no better than Booker, which made Durant’s debut easy and memorable.

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