Suns Hornets Basketball

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant drives to the basket past Charlotte Hornets guard Kelly Oubre Jr. during the second half of Wednesday’s game in Charlotte, N.C. Chris Carlson/Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Durant scored 23 points on 10-of-15 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. 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. He 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.

Phoenix (34-29) entered the game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, but could be poised for a strong finish with Durant anchoring what has the potential to be an explosive offense.

BULLS 117, PISTONS 115: Zach LaVine scored 41 points and Detroit called one too many timeouts, helping visiting Chicago hold on for a win.


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

DeMar DeRozan added two free throws on the extra possession to help the Bulls seal their 14th straight win in the series.

76ERS 119, MIAMI 96: Tyrese Maxey scored 27 points, James Harden added 23 and Philadelphia took control early on the way to a win in Miami.

KNICKS 142, NETS 118: Jalen Brunson scored 30 of his 39 points in the first half and New York rolled at home to its seventh straight victory.


LAKERS: Anthony Davis did not play Wednesday night at Oklahoma City because of a right foot stress injury, the team said.


Davis had 28 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks in a 121-109 loss to the Grizzlies on Tuesday in Memphis. But he was listed as “out” for the Oklahoma City game, along with LeBron James (right foot soreness) and D’Angelo Russell, who has missed the last two games because of a right ankle sprain.

Davis missed 20 games because of a bone spur and stress injury in his right foot before returning to the lineup on Jan. 25. He has only missed one game since, a 121-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 30.

James missed his second straight game because of his right foot injury, and there could be many more to come.

“He’s not coming back any time soon,” Davis said of James following the Memphis game. “So we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we can’t put our head down and say, ‘Oh we miss Bron.’ We have to go out and compete.”

WARRIORS: Stephen Curry is nearing a return to action just in time for a key stretch for Golden State’s playoff push.

Curry, who has missed the last 11 games because of a left leg injury, is likely to return sometime during the Warriors’ three-game road trip that starts Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN.


Curry has taken major strides and participated in more contact work in recent days, including a scrimmage with Andre Iguodala and some Warriors backups on Tuesday morning at Chase Center.

Curry’s injury occurred when he bumped knees with Dallas guard McKinley Wright IV during the third quarter of a game on Feb. 4. An MRI showed partial tears to two lower-leg ligaments and a membrane, as well as a contusion.

Golden State is on a three-game winning streak following a comeback victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. the Warriors are 12-12 without Curry this season and 5-4 in the nine games he has missed with this injury. He missed 11 games earlier this season because of a shoulder injury.

HORNETS: LaMelo Ball’s season is officially over.

The Charlotte Hornets announced that the third-year point guard underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a fracture in his right ankle and will miss the remainder of the season. Ball was injured in Charlotte’s victory Monday night over the Detroit Pistons.

Ball, 21, was limited to 36 games this season. He sprained his left ankle three times, costing him 27 games.


He averaged 23.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 35.2 minutes. He was playing particularly well during the Hornets’ five-game winning streak, making at least five 3-pointers in each of those games while shooting 47.3% (27 of 57) from beyond the arc.

76ERS: Philadelphia center Joel Embiid missed Wednesday’s game against Miami because of left foot soreness.

Embiid was ruled out about 30 minutes before the game. It’s the 13th game he has missed this season; Philadelphia was 8-4 this season in games in which Embiid does not play.

Embiid is averaging 33.0 points per game, just behind Dallas’ Luka Doncic (33.2) for tops in the NBA.

WIZARDS: Starting point guard Monte Morris is week-to-week because of lower back problems.

Morris has averaged 10.4 points and a career-high 5.3 assists in 51 games this season.

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