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Kevin Durant scores 23 points in Charlotte on Suns debut


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting in his Suns debut, helping Phoenix end the Charlotte Hornets’ five-game winning streak with a 105 wire-to-wire victory -91 Wednesday night.

Devin Booker scored 37 points and Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 16 rebounds in the Suns’ seventh win in 10 games. Chris Paul added 11 assists.

Durant, acquired in a blockbuster trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 9, showed no lingering effects from a sprained right knee that kept him out of action for more than seven weeks.

The 34-year-old star has fitted in perfectly at his new club, also grabbing six rebounds and blocking two shots in 27 minutes.

Durant hit two 3s, a flurry of midrange jumpers and showed he still had the flurry to get to the hole on a left-handed layup for his first field goal with the Suns. He also gave the defense a boost, blocking Hornets rookie center Mark Williams twice in the opening five minutes.

Phoenix (34-29) entered the game fourth in the Western Conference standings, but could be poised to finish strong with Durant grounding what has the potential to be an explosive offense.

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