Phoenix Suns’ Kevin Durant to start in return vs. Grizzlies
Jan 7, 2024, 5:12 PM | Updated: 5:46 pm
(Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant will be available for the Phoenix Suns on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies at Footprint Center, according to the team. He will start along with Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Grayson Allen and Jusuf Nurkic.
Durant missed the last three games while dealing with a right hamstring strain. The Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat without Durant but fell to the Los Angeles Clippers.
He was initially ruled questionable to suit up on the injury report Saturday and later deemed a game-time decision on Sunday.
Durant has sat out seven games this season and can only miss 10 more to be eligible for NBA awards via the 65-game threshold. He is the Suns’ leading scorer at 29.9 points per contest in 28 games, second in rebounds (6.3) and second in assists (6.0). He also leads the NBA with a 47.7% clip from beyond the arc.
The veteran was second among Western Conference frontcourt players behind LeBron James of the Lakers in the first fan vote returns for the All-Star Game.
The Suns’ trio of Durant, Booker and Beal has played in four games this season entering Sunday. The three have played 65 minutes together and have a plus-18.7 net rating.
Phoenix’s supporting cast will not be at full strength, though, with Bol Bol (ankle), Eric Gordon (knee) and Nassir Little (knee) all out.
Grizzlies superstar point guard Ja Morant (shoulder) was ruled out after he was listed questionable on Saturday. Grizzlies will start Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane, Luke Kennard, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Bismack Biyombo, who returns to Phoenix for a second time this season.
Morant missed the first 25 games of the season while suspended and averages 25.1 points and 8.1 assists per game in nine appearances.
The game starts at 6 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM and the Arizona Sports app.