Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns
#35 Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns made his home debut on March 29, 2023 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bleacher Report/Twitter


  • "Excited to be out there I guess," Kevin Durant says about shooting start
  • Cameron Payne's big third quarter gave the Suns breathing room in the fourth quarter
  • Devin Booker once again proved why he is the best shooting guard in the NBA

The Phoenix Suns' push to secure an outright playoff seed had them facing the Minnesota Timberwolves in another exciting night of NBA action, and it doubled as Kevin Durant's first-ever home game with his new franchise.

Below are some observations from their 107-100 victory.

Kevin Durant Unfazed By Shaky Start

"Excited to be out there I guess. [I was] rushing shots. I made a couple of shots though in the fourth," were the words of Durant in the postgame interview when asked about his cold start.

In the first half, Durant only made one of his eight attempts from the field, causing some worry among fans as to whether he is fully healthy from an ankle sprain sustained during warm-ups ahead of their 31-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 8.

Durant would go on to shake off the rust and ended the night with 16 points, eight rebounds, and four assists while making two crucial three-pointers in the fourth to fend off the Timberwolves.

The Suns are now 4-0 with Durant playing and are 0.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth seed.

Cameron Payne's Third Quarter

Building a lead in the first half only to give up a big chunk of it in the third quarter was a major pain point for the Suns throughout this season and was responsible for some of their narrow losses–with many pointing the finger at Cameron Payne's inefficiency.

Against Minnesota though, Phoenix faithful were grateful to have him as he went on a personal 7-0 run to stave off the Timberwolves entering the final frame.

The self-nicknamed "Haboob," a reference to his devil-may-care playing style, started his outburst with a corner three against tight defense before scoring on back-to-back layups to push the Suns to a five-point lead as the third quarter drew to a close.

Weak bench play has been blamed for the Suns' lack of success this season, but Payne's offensive capabilities coupled with Bismack Biyombo, who logged three blocks and eight boards, anchoring the defense will be important variables down the stretch.

Devin Booker Solidifies "Elite Two-Guard" Status

Devin Booker has slowly owned the shooting guard position since being branded an empty stats player early in his career and it showed against Minnesota.

When the Suns' offense was lagging in the midst of a stout Minnesota defense, Booker was there to stem the tide whether it was off his patented mid-range game or a one-legged fallaway basket against Mike Conley.

Booker also came away with four steals, his third such outing this season, and a willingness to bump in the paint with Rudy Gobert in the third quarter alongside solid on-ball defense throughout.

Many would be quick to disparage his performances this year because of their dismal Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but Booker's 29-point performance on an off-night from Durant and Deandre Ayton to beat the Timberwolves is proof this Suns team is ready to run it back.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates as he scores a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Arena on October 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images