Suns’ Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon out vs. Heat; Miami’s Jimmy Butler sidelined
Jan 5, 2024, 5:23 PM | Updated: 6:42 pm
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
Forward Kevin Durant is out with a hamstring strain for the Phoenix Suns’ hosting of the Miami Heat on Friday.
Guard Eric Gordon (right knee soreness) and wing Nassir Little (left knee soreness) are both out, as well.
For the Heat, star Jimmy Butler (toe) will be out, joining teammates Haywood Highsmith (concussion), Dru Smith (knee) and Orlando Robinson (G League assignment). Caleb Martin (ankle) was later ruled out after initially listed as doubtful.
Durant injured his hamstring late on Sunday against the Orlando Magic and played through the issue before sitting out a win against the Portland Trail Blazers and a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“He did a no-contact, partial practice and then they did some stuff with the medical team involving sprint work and really trying to test it out,” Suns head coach Frank Vogel told media members on Thursday after practice.
Vogel said pregame Friday Durant did some shooting at shootaround and “still felt it a little bit.” He confirmed there is no tear.
Durant leads the scoring at 29.9 points per game, good for fifth in the NBA. He’s adding 6.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooing 48% from deep.
The 35-year-old has played in 28 of Phoenix’s 34 games.
“He would never say it but I think he needs a couple games, too,” Booker said at shootaround before the Suns’ loss to the Clippers on Wednesday. “He has had a lot on his plate this season with me and Brad being out.
“It’s our job to take a lot of pressure off him and him playing in the high-30 minutes every night, isn’t what we need at this point in the season from him.”
Phoenix’s next game is Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies at Footprint Center, and Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Durant’s return is more likely to occur then.
Vogel said Gordon and Little did not participate in shootaround.
Butler has played one game since Dec. 18. This year, he averages 21.0 points per contest which is third on Miami behind Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo.