Kevin Durant out for Suns vs. Blazers, Chimezie Metu to start

Jan 1, 2024, 2:13 PM | Updated: 5:36 pm

Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during ...

Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on December 13, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nets defeated the Suns 116-112. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant will miss the first game of 2024 on Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Footprint Center with a sore hamstring. Chimezie Metu will start in his place.

Durant has been efficient for the Suns during its recent three-game win streak, shooting better than 50% from the field in each while also racking up 32 assists.

He will take a seat on the second night of a back-to back and after logging a heavy workload of minutes since Christmas.

Durant played 43 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day, 41 to start the win streak at Houston over the Rockets and 39 minutes apiece in wins over the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic.

However, before the game, head coach Frank Vogel refuted the idea that Durant was just resting. Vogel said Durant tweaked the hamstring in the fourth quarter and finished the game despite it.

Durant is second on the team in starts (28) only trailing center Jusuf Nurkic. His 37.1 minutes per game is first on the team and is on pace for the most he’s played since the 2021-22 season with the Brooklyn Nets.

Eric Gordon is questionable with right calf soreness.

The Blazers won’t have center and former Sun Deandre Ayton (knee) or guard Anfernee Simons (illness). Shaedon Sharpe is questionable.

The Suns take on the Trail Blazers in the third matchup of the season between the two teams. The Suns took the first game in November with a 120-107 win at Footprint Center while the Blazers got revenge in Portland in mid-December with a 109-104 home win.

Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. and can be heard on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app.

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