Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant is available to play Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves at home, Phoenix coach Monty Williams confirmed in his pregame press conference.
Durant missed the Suns’ last 10 games due to a left ankle sprain suffered in pregame warmups for a March 8 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant’s return, so long as there is not another setback before the game starts, will be exactly three weeks later.
Durant will be on a minutes restriction, according to Williams.
Durant’s return is great timing for Phoenix, which is currently one-half of a game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. A top-four seed guarantees the Suns will have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs and potentially beyond if they face a lower seed.
Importantly, Wednesday’s game will take place against the seventh-seeded Timberwolves, who are 1 1⁄2 games behind the Suns. If Phoenix wins, it will secure the tiebreaker between the teams with three wins in four meetings this season. If not, Minnesota will move within one-half of a game against the Suns with the ability to move up.
This is lined up to be Durant’s fourth game since he was traded to the Suns along with forward T.J. Warren for forwards Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four unprotected first-round picks and a pick swap in 2028 Feb. 9 and his first home game.
In three games against the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks from March 1 through March 5, Durant averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 blocks. He shot a blistering 69 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from 3-point range.
Durant’s best game was against the Mavericks, when he had 37 points on 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) shooting and shot 3-of-5 (60 percent) from 3-point range. He hit a go-ahead jumper over Dallas guard Tim Hardaway Jr. with 11.7 seconds left that gave the Suns a 128-126 lead in their eventual 130-126 win.
Phoenix’s players have been very excited for Durant’s return. It will give the Suns an immense boost and hopefully for them, as healthy of a version of him as possible before the team enters the postseason.