Durant to miss at least three weeks with ankle sprain

On Wednesday, Suns forward Kevin Durant was set to make his home debut against one of his former teams, the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, in warmups, Durant slipped and twisted his left ankle and could not play in the Suns’ 132-101 win over the Thunder.

On Thursday, the Suns announced that Durant had sustained a left ankle sprain. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks, according to the team.

With Durant, who was acquired from the Nets before the trade deadline, in the lineup, the Suns are 3-0. If Durant is out for three weeks, he will return by the end of March and in time for the playoffs, which, if the Suns avoid the Play-In Tournament, begins on April 15.

Overall, this is good news for Durant and the Suns.

Booker on Durant: ‘His skill set for his size is second none’

On Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks(33-32) got a combined 82 points(Doncic 42, Irving 40) from Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, and they defeated the visiting 76ers 133-126.

On Sunday against the visiting Suns(36-29), Doncic and Irving became the first pair of Mavericks teammates to each score 30-plus points in consecutive games. Doncic had 34 points, while Irving scored 30 points.

However, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker almost did to the Mavs what Doncic and Irving did to the 76ers. Booker had 36 points, and Durant had a game-high 37, including the game-winning jumper with 14.2 seconds to go as the Suns defeated Dallas 130-126 at American Airlines Center.

“I’ve been on the other side of it,” Booker said about Durant’s shot. “I know it’s a tough cover. It’s one of those situations where no matter what you do, he’s playing with just him and the hoop out there. His skill set for his size is second none. That was another example of that tonight.”

Durant added on the final shot: “Once I had him on my hip, I felt like I was in good position to just stop on a dime.”

Mavs coach Jason Kidd showed love to Durant.

“I thought that’s what KD [Kevin Durant] does,” Kidd said. “He went away from the double team, and when he rises, he’s longer than 7 feet, and he got to his spot.”

Dallas had a chance to tie, but Doncic’s short floater rimmed out.

“I just missed that one,” Doncic said. “I thought it was in, but I just missed it. One of my friends texted me saying, ‘I would have even made that.’”

After the miss, Doncic and Booker had a little altercation, and the two went face-to-face.

However, neither Doncic nor Booker would say what words were said to cause the confrontation.

“I don’t think you can say it on camera,” Doncic said. “He was talking to me. It’s not for TV. I would get fined… It’s just a competitive game; just next time, don’t wait till there are three seconds left to talk.”

Booker, who added five rebounds and a season-high 10 assists, says he has no issues with Doncic.

“I’m not here to tattle tale,” Booker said. “I was talking to the ref. He said something to me; first, I responded. You guys [the media] always say you don’t want everyone to be ‘friendly-friendly,’ so there you go, you got some smoke. It’s just two competitors going at it. Everybody speaks on how friendly the NBA is now, and they don’t like that. I have no problem with Luka [Dončić] on or off the court, but when we’re competing, we’re competing. You guys are just trying to stir the pot. I don’t have problems with nobody.”

There is a little rivalry between the Suns and Mavs after Dallas defeated Phoenix in 7 in the Western Conference semifinals last season, and Irving can feel it.

“You see it from afar. It’s definitely different, obviously, being out here,” Irving said. “The level of play rises. Emotions rise. I think we see everyone display that on their facial expressions or communicating with the refs, going back-and-forth. At the end of the day, No one is really going to fight out there. “

With the loss, the Mavs are the seventh seed in the West. Dallas is 2-3 on their current six-game homestand, and they conclude the homestand on Tuesday night against the Jazz. 


The Suns move to 3-0 with Durant in the lineup.

-Doncic added nine rebounds and four assists, and Irving added four rebounds and seven assists.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points on 6-8 shooting from 3-point range. Hardaway Jr. finished the first half with 18 points, helped by his 5-6 shooting clip from 3-point range. The first half was his highest-scoring first half of the season and tied his career-best for the most 3FG in the first half.

-Christian Wood came off the bench for 17 points on 5-7 shooting to go with three rebounds. Wood has scored 10+ points in nine straight games, averaging 15.3 points per game in that span.

Clippers’ George on Doncic & Irving: ‘Those two are going to be special together’

Before the trade deadline, both the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks made big moves. Dallas acquired Kyrie Irving from the Nets, and the Phoenix Suns also made a deal with the Nets to get Kevin Durant.

With those moves, the Suns and Mavericks have put themselves in a position to make deep playoff runs. Last season, the Mavs made it to the Western Conference Finals, while the Suns fell to the Mavericks in seven in the second round of the playoffs.

Durant has not been on the court yet with the Suns; he is expected to be available at some point after the All-Star break, but we have seen Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving together for the Mavericks. Dallas is 0-2 with Doncic and Irving in the lineup, but in their first home game together against the Timberwolves, Doncic had 36, and Irving added 33, including 26 in the fourth quarter.

During All-Star weekend, Durant was asked about Doncic and Irving together; he believes that duo will be tough to stop.

“It’s going to be incredible,” Durant said. “You see, already the last game they played together, they lost, but they were down 20. In the fourth quarter, they both came out there, and Kyrie had 26 in the fourth, and Luka hit some big shots. So it’s going to be like that. It’s going to be tough to guard them.”

Clippers forward Paul George thinks Doncic and Irving will be great together.

“It was crazy that trade happened, and I joked with Luka today because we usually, what we call fire on him, which is double-teaming him to get the ball out of his hands,” George said. “Now, you can’t do that because if Kyrie gets it, you’re in the same predicament. They’re going to be special together. I know they’re still figuring it out who gets the last shot and whatnot. They have to figure out the little wrinkles, but those two are going to be special together. Elite scorers. Elite playmakers.”

Doncic and Irving have 22 regular-season games to come together. That’s not a lot of time, but hopefully, for Dallas(31-29), it will be enough time for these two to gel before the playoffs.

Suns’ owner on acquisition of Durant: ‘Today is a transformative day for this organization’

The Phoenix Suns made a splash move and a move that could put them in a position to win an NBA title.

On Thursday, they acquired forwards Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four future first-round picks, and a pick swap.

Durant, 34, had requested a trade in the offseason but decided to stay with the Nets. However, Kyrie Irving requested a trade last week and was sent to the Dallas Mavericks, and ultimately, Brooklyn decided to move Durant.

Suns owner Mat Ishbia is excited to bring Durant and Warren to Phoenix.

“Today is a transformative day for this organization,” said Ishbia via a press release. “We are thrilled to welcome Kevin and T.J. to the Valley as we build a championship culture both on and off the court,” Ishbia added. “Not only is Kevin one of the greatest and most accomplished players in the history of the sport, but his character also embodies the world-class commitment to excellence we are instilling across every facet of this organization.”

Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager James Jones is also excited about the possibilities. 

“We are elated to welcome Kevin and T.J. to the Valley,” Jones said. “Both players are dynamic scorers and fierce competitors who compete with intensity night in and night out. We’re excited to see the added value they will contribute to our team.”

Durant has been out since January 8 with a sprained meniscus and reportedly could return sometime after the All-Star break.

The Phoenix Suns are all in, and that has to be exciting for anybody associated with the team. Durant has three years left on his contract, Devin Booker signed a four-year, supermax contract extension last offseason; Deandre Ayton got a four-deal last summer, and Chris Paul has two more seasons left on his contract after this one, so again, this team is locked and loaded to go after a title for the next few seasons.

With what they added in Durant, anything short of an NBA title in the next couple of seasons would be a huge disappointment in Phoenix.

Kyrie Irving’s time in Brooklyn needed to end

Kyrie Irving’s time with the Brooklyn Nets has reportedly come to an end. 

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavericks are sending Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, and second-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Nets in exchange for Irving and Markieff Morris.

The 30-year-old Irving, who can become a free agent at the end of the season, reportedly requested a trade from the Nets on Friday, and two days later, he’s on the move. Irving reportedly requested a trade after he and the Nets could not come together on a contract extension.

Now, Irving will team with Luka Doncic. Dallas(28-26) needed another star to team with Doncic, and for at least the rest of the season, they will have that, and if Irving can be a good solider for the next few months, maybe he could have a home in Dallas, but history tells us, that could be a problem.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Irving’s extension talks are expected to be put off until this summer. He is eligible for a two-year extension now and a four-year deal in the summer.

Irving, who is averaging 27.1 ppg in 40 games this season, is worth the risk for the Mavericks. Dallas was treading water and needed to do something. Here’s another reality, if things don’t work out for Dallas, they will have cap space.

According to MacMahon, if they don’t re-sign the eight-time All-Star, the Mavs will have close to max salary cap space this summer. 

Regarding the Nets(32-20), they get Dinwiddie(17.3 PPG), a decent scorer, and Finney-Smith is a solid 3-and-D wing player, so when Kevin Durant gets healthy, the Nets can still compete. According to Wojnarowski, the Nets will continue to try to improve their roster before the trade deadline.

Irving spent four seasons with the Nets, and injuries were an issue throughout his time with Brooklyn; not receiving the COVID vaccine caused him to miss time, and retweeting a film that some have called antisemitic was an issue, and in the end, both parties needed a divorce.

NBA announces All-Star starters

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains in the 2023 All-Star Game at Vivint Arena in Utah, the league announced Thursday.

In the East, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell were named starters, while in the West, James will be joined by Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, and Stephen Curry in the starting lineup.

James(7,418,116), who made his NBA-record-tying 19th All-Star appearance, was the leading vote-getter overall, and Antetokounmpo(6,761,032) was the leading vote-getter in the East.

Fans, current NBA players, and a media panel selected starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the starters, while players and media accounted for 25 percent each.

Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes. The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.

The All-Star reserves will be named on February 2, and the NBA All-Star game will take place on February 19.  On that night, James and Antetokounmpo will select their teammates.


-At 23, Doncic joins Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas, and Anthony Davis as the only players to earn four All-Star nods before their 24th birthday.

-This is Mitchell’s fourth NBA All-Star selection and his first time being selected as a starter.

-Williamson, who is also an All-Star starter for the first time his career, becomes the fourth New Orleans player to be voted a starter, joining Chris Paul (twice), Anthony Davis (x3), and DeMarcus Cousins.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Nets

The Cavs(22-13) finished their six-game homestand on Monday against the Nets(22-12) and trailed by as many as 19 points before rallying late, but they would fall to the Nets 125-117 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Nets have won nine straight, while the Cavs, who ended their homestand 4-2, have lost two straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Nets:


Darius Garland had a game-high 46 points(14/20 FG), including five threes and eight assists; he had 18 points in the fourth; Garland cut Brooklyn’s 19-point fourth-quarter lead to four with just under a minute to go. However, just like what happened against Minnesota, where he scored 27 points in the fourth, it wasn’t enough.

Not So Great:

Defense: Cleveland allowed the Nets to shoot 57% from the floor, including 60% from deep. The Cavs are one the better defensive teams in the NBA, but they had no answers for the Nets. Specifically, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who combined for 12 threes and had 32 points apiece.

The final 3:54 seconds of the first half: Cavs trailed for most of the game, and in the first half, they cut the lead to 44-43, but Brooklyn closed the half on a 21-6 run, and the Nets took a 16-point lead at halftime.

Donovan Mitchell struggled again with his shot as he finished 5-16 from the field and ended the night with 15 points. Brooklyn did a great job of keeping him under control.

In the last two games, Mitchell is 9-32 from the field.

Bottom Line:

After starting this homestand 4-0, the Cavs got humbled by the Raptors and Nets.

Cleveland needed more of an answer for Brooklyn’s firepower and could not limit Durant and Irving.

The Cavs are a very good team, but not surprisingly, they have more to do to be a championship team. Again, Cleveland’s very good, but something could be missing. They may need another piece.

What’s Next:

Cleveland goes on the road to battle the Pacers on Thursday night.

Best of the Rest:

The Nets had six players in double figures. T.J. Warren had 23 points and eight rebounds off the bench, and Ben Simmons added four points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

Jarrett Allen had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Cleveland had five players in double figures.

Robin Lopez(illness) was out against Brooklyn.

Simmons: ‘I feel like I’m in a good place’

Ben Simmons returned to Philadelphia for the first time as an active player on Tuesday night, and it appeared it would be an easy night for the Nets as the 76ers were without Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey, who were all out due to injuries.

However, Tobias Harris had a game and season-high 24 points, De’Anthony Melton added 22 points, including a career-high tying six threes, and Paul Reed chipped in with season-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as the 76ers defeated the Nets 115-106 at Wells Fargo Center.

Back to Simmons, who had a tremendous all-around game with 11 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and three blocks, he was booed during introductions, and he was booed every time he touched the ball. Last season, he came to Philly as a member of the Nets as he was dealt to Brooklyn before last season’s trade deadline, but he was a spectator due to injury. Throughout that game, he was booed heavily. However, it was not as bad this time.

“I thought it was going to be louder,” Simmons said after the loss.

We all expected more from the Philly faithful, but with Embiid, Harden, and Maxey out, the fans probably did not think Philadelphia had much chance, which may have impacted the crowd’s energy.

The number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft has played well in the last three games as he’s averaging 16 points, 7.6 assists, and 9.3 rebounds per contest, and according to him, he’s in a good place.

“I feel like I’m in a good place to come in here and just play basketball,” Simmons said. “I’m happy. I’m doing what I love, so being able to be out there and experience it was amazing. Obviously, we did not get the result that we wanted. It’s frustrating to lose a game like that, but I think it’s a great step forward.”

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving liked how Simmons handled his return to Philadelphia.

He [Ben Simmons] did pretty good to me,” Durant, who had 20 points, said. “You never know how he really feels about it; you know what I’m saying? Unless you ask him, but he looked solid to me.”

Irving, who had a team-high 23 points, added: “I think he (Ben Simmons) did well. Obviously, we wanted to focus on our team win, but the crowd is not going anywhere, so it’s good to hear their loud voices, hear their boos, and next time hopefully, that motivates us to go out there and get that win a little bit more. We had the lead earlier in the first half, and then we gave it up, so think he did well.”

It appears Simmons is in a better place mentally and physically, and maybe the time away has humbled him, which is always a good thing. In the end, he’s cleared another hurdle. 

Kevin Durant is where he needs to be in Brooklyn

Kevin Durant has decided to stay in Brooklyn after all. The 14-year veteran requested a trade in June and reportedly wanted the team to fire GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash. However, on Tuesday, Durant made the decision to stay with the Nets.

According to a statement from the team, Durant and his business partner Rich Kleiman met with Nets’ ownership, Marks, and Nash. Ultimately, they came to a resolution.

“Steve Nash and I, together with Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in the statement. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

The 33-year-old signed a four-year, $198 contract extension last summer, and that deal begins this season.

Here’s the reality, the Nets have a championship-caliber team. Kyrie Irving, who opted into the final your of his contract after playing in only 29 regular season games due to his refusal to take any COVID vaccines, has a lot to prove this season because he wants to get a big contract in the offseason, so he should be very committed to staying on the court and proving that he’s an elite player that can be trusted. 

Additionally, Ben Simmons is on track to be ready for training camp after offseason surgery. We can say many things about Simmons, but he’s a three-time All-Star, an elite defender(two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team), and has a winning skillset. There was pressure on him to score in Philly, but that will not be the case in Brooklyn as Durant, Irving, and others will handle the scoring load.  

Furthermore, they have shooting with Seth Curry, Patty Mills, and Joe Harris and acquired a solid player in Royce O’Neal from Utah. Also, they added more scoring with T.J. Warren. They could still use some size, but this roster has a decent amount of depth. On paper, it may be the most talented roster in the NBA. Any place Durant would have gone, that team would have had to deplete their roster and draft assets to get him, so again, staying put makes the most sense and gives him the best chance to win another NBA title.

Cavs start slow, finish strong but fall in Brooklyn

The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to punch their ticket to the NBA Playoffs when they battled the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center Tuesday night in the Play-In Tournament.

Cleveland never led and trailed by 20 points after the first quarter and was down by as many as 22. The Cavs battled back and cut the lead to five late in the game; however, they could not get any closer as the Nets defeated Cleveland 115-108. 

Kyrie Irving had 34 points(12/15 FG, 3/6 3-PT FG) and 12 assists; Irving made his first 12 shots; Kevin Durant added 25 points, five rebounds, 11 assists, and three blocks.

The Nets get the seventh seed in the East and will battle the second seed, the Boston Celtics. The Cavs will try to get the eighth seed Friday night against the winner of Hornets/Hawks.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Nets:

The Great for the Cavs:

Darius Garland scored 16 of his 34 points in the fourth. Garland scored the first nine points for Cleveland in the final quarter, and he tried to rescue the Cavs. 

The moment was not too big for him, and the moment has not been too big for him all season long. This is what you want from your best player in a big spot. The All-Star also added five assists and two steals. 

-The moment wasn’t too big for rookie Evan Mobley as well. He had 14 of his 19 points in the second half to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks. Mobley has been steady all season long, and he was steady Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

-Rajon Rondo morphed into “Playoff Rondo” against the Nets. He made the right play time after time. The stat line wasn’t super impressive as Rondo had seven points and nine assists in 26 minutes of action, but he got it done for the Cavs. Rondo and Caris LeVert were the only two Cavs with a positive rating(+2), and Rondo had the best rating in the second half for Cleveland at +9. 

Any Quarter but the First: Cleveland trailed by 20 after the first quarter, but they outscored Brooklyn by 13 points in the final three quarters. They held Brooklyn to 17 points in the second quarter. After shooting 35% in the first half, Cleveland shot 55% from the field, including 50% from deep in the second half. They scored 35 points in the fourth quarter on 55% shooting, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

First Quarter: Last Friday, the Cavaliers trailed Brooklyn 34-19 after one quarter, and Tuesday night, the Nets got off to another great start. Brooklyn shot 71% from the floor, including 67% from downtown. Kyrie Irving was 5/5 from the field and scored 11 points in the first quarter; he finished with 20 points in the first half on 9/9 shooting.

The Nets led 40-20 after one quarter and 57-43 at halftime.

Turnovers: Cleveland had 15 turnovers, which led to 24 points for Brooklyn. 

-Isaac Okoro: The second-year guard struggled with his shot Tuesday night. He was 0/3 from the field, all threes, and finished with zero points in 13 minutes. No one expects Okoro to score a bunch, but he had open looks, and he has to make some of those open shots.

Bottom Line:

You can’t spot Brooklyn 20 points and expect to win. Cleveland played well after the first quarter, but they were swimming upstream just like last Friday’s game.

Brooklyn could win a championship, so there is no shame in losing this game. Cleveland has two games to win one. Hopefully, they can get back their All-Star center Jarrett Allen. Cleveland is 35-21 with Allen this season and 9-17 without him, so getting him back would help.

Getting to the playoffs won’t be easy; it should be fun to see the excitement at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Friday night.

What’s Next:

The Cavs return home to battle the winner of Hornets/Hawks in the Play-In Game.

Best of the Rest:

-Kevin Love had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds; Lauri Markkanen chipped in with 13 points, and LeVert had 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.  

-Bruce Brown had 18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and three steals; Andre Drummond chipped in with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Nic Claxton had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Listen below as Garland and Love discuss the team’s loss to Brooklyn: