Imperial Valley Press

Kevin Durant makes Suns debut in victory over Hornets


CHARLOTTE, N. C. ( AP) — Kevin Durant scored 23 points on 10-of15 shooting in his Suns debut, helping Phoenix snap the Charlotte Hornets’ five-game winning streak with a wire-to-wire 105-91 victory Wednesday night.

Devin Booker scored 37 points and Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 16 rebounds in the Suns’ seventh victory in 10 games. Chris Paul added 11 assists.

Durant, acquired in blockbuste­r trade with the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 9, showed no lingering effects from a sprained right knee that kept him out of action for more than seven weeks.

The 34-year-old star fit in seamlessly with his new club, also grabbing six rebounds and blocking two shots in 27 minutes.

Durant made two 3s, a flurry of mid-range jumpers and showed he still has the burst to get to the hole on a driving left-handed layup for his first basket with the Suns. He also provided a boost on defense, blocking Hornets rookie center Mark Williams twice in the opening five minutes.

The Hornets played without LaMelo Ball, who underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday to repair a fracture in his right

ankle. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 26 points, and Terry Rozier added 20.

76ERS 119, HEAT 96

MIAMI (AP) — Tyrese Maxey scored 27 points, James Harden added 23 and Philadelph­ia took control early on the way to a victory over Miami.

Tobias Harris scored 18 points, while Paul Reed had 16 points, 14 rebounds and was plus- 26 in 29 minutes for the 76ers, who played without All- Star

center Joel Embiid – out with left foot soreness. The 76ers are 9-4 when Embiid doesn’t play this season.

Bam Adebayo scored 20 points for the Heat. They beat Philadelph­ia on the road Monday but trailed by 25 in the rematch at home.

KNICKS 142, NETS 118

NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 30 of his 39 points in the first half and New York rolled to its seventh straight vic

tory, routing Brooklyn.

The Knicks made nearly 80% of their shots in a 47-point first quarter and coasted to their second victory over the Nets since their city rivals traded Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Brooklyn had won the previous nine meetings, including the first two this season.

Quentin Grimes scored 22 points and Julius Randle added 21 points, eight rebounds and eight as

sists as the Knicks opened a two-game lead over the Nets for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Cam Johnson scored a season-high 33 points for the Nets. They have lost four straight.


BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 18 points in a pivotal third quarter and finished with 41 points as Boston held on to beat Cleveland.

Tatum added 11 rebounds and eight assists in Boston’s first victory in three games against Cleveland this season. With his 20th career 40-point game, the 24- year- old Tatum surpassed Giannis Antetokoun­mpo for seventh place on the NBA’s scoring list for players under 25.

Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell scored 44 points and sidesteppe­d an injury following a fall in the third quarter.


DETROIT (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 41 points and Detroit called one too many timeouts, helping Chicago hold on for a victory.

The Pistons were trailing by two points with 9.7 seconds left when they called a second straight timeout — one more than they had — to trigger a technical foul that gave LaVine a free throw that he made.

DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points, including two at the line on the extra possession the Pistons gave the Bulls to help seal their 14th straight win in the series.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 34 for the Pistons. They have dropped six straight games for the third time this season.

 ?? AP PHOTO/CHRIS CARLSON ?? Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant celebrates after their win against the Charlotte Hornets with guard Devin Booker in an NBA basketball game on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.
AP PHOTO/CHRIS CARLSON Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant celebrates after their win against the Charlotte Hornets with guard Devin Booker in an NBA basketball game on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.

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