NBA: Kevin Durant returns in Suns’ win over Timberwolves
Devin Booker scored 29 points and the Phoenix Suns celebrated Kevin Durant’s return to the lineup with their third straight win, beating the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 107-100 on Wednesday.
Durant was back after missing 10 games due to a sprained ankle, and he logged 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes while shooting 5-for-18 from the floor. The 13-time All-Star was making his home debut after being acquired from the Brooklyn Nets at last month’s trade deadline.
Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 25 for Minnesota (39-38), which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Naz Reid scored 15 points and Rudy Gobert had a game-high 15 rebounds.
Phoenix (41-35) remains a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoff race. Chris Paul scored 19 points and Cameron Payne added 11 for the Suns, while Deandre Ayton and Josh Okogie chipped in 10 apiece.
Minnesota, which holds the No. 7 position in the West, pulled within 101-97 on Edwards’ 3-pointer with 2:04 remaining before the Suns scored six of the game’s final nine points to secure the victory.
"It felt good. I miss playing, I miss being with the guys…Every day I just try to be the best that I can…So I'm looking forward to keep building."
🗣️ KD speaks on how it felt getting back on the court and playing with the team again. pic.twitter.com/ubd6IxoMOK
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 30, 2023
Durant was held scoreless in the first quarter, which ended with Phoenix leading 25-24. Durant missed his first six shots from the field before tying the game at 38 with just over five minutes left in the half.
Minnesota led 51-48 at the break after limiting the Suns to 38.9 percent shooting, including 2 of 9 from 3-point range. Towns had 20 points to lead all scorers. Durant ended the half with three points on 1-of-8 shooting in 13 minutes.
Minnesota stretched its lead to 10 points after opening the third quarter with a 9-2 run. Phoenix then outscored the Wolves 31-14 to move ahead by seven heading into the final period.
The Timberwolves shot 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) from the foul line compared to 21 of 27 (77.8 percent) for the Suns.