Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant suffered a left ankle sprain in pregame warmups for the team’s 132-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night.
Durant was expected to make his widely-anticipated home debut with the Suns before he tweaked his ankle on a drive to the rim. He landed on his right foot and then fell to the floor but did not show any signs of serious injury.
Here’s video of Kevin Durant slipping on the floor pregame.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 9, 2023
He stayed down for a few seconds but then got up and finished his on-court work. pic.twitter.com/DwTrNc6LIr
Durant continued his pregame workout for a few more minutes before he went to the team’s locker room. Suns officials ruled Durant out within 20 minutes of the game’s scheduled start at 7 p.m., and Phoenix coach Monty Williams did not have an official update on Durant after the game.
“We just have to wait and see how he responds to treatment,” Williams said. “He’ll probably get some more imaging just to make sure everybody’s on the same page.”
Durant’s absence was shocking on a widely-anticipated night. Even though the team announced it had a sellout of 17,701 fans for the 58th straight game, they were not as engaged during the team’s introduction of its starting five and were relatively quiet in the first six-and-a-half minutes of the game outside of made shots.
Asked about the disappointment for Durant not being able to make his Suns debut, Williams said he does not focus on it.
“I don’t get caught up in the buildup at all,” Williams said. “For me, it’s just, ‘How do you get your team on the floor and get everybody healthy?
“…I feel bad for him because he feels bad. He feels, like I saw his face and I’ve been around him so many times, I know what he’s feeling. And I don’t want him feeling that way at all.”
When asked if he was anticipatory for Durant’s debut, Booker said “100 percent.”
“The city has been waiting on this,” Booker said. “It’s a big day. We’ll reschedule the party. I’m sure they’ll be back.
Things picked up as the game went on as the Suns cruised to a blowout victory. Phoenix guard Devin Booker somewhat salvaged the night with a 44-point effort, 30 of which came in the first half.
“I tried to give them (the fans) a little something to make it better (Durant’s absence), but we’re still anticipating his debut,” Booker said.
In three games with the Suns, Durant has averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 69 percent shooting from the floor and 53.8 percent from 3-point range.
Durant played 40 minutes in the Suns’ 130-126 win over the Dallas Mavericks Sunday and had 37 points on 12-of-17 shooting with seven rebounds and three assists