Durant glad to be back but felt nerves showed ahead of Suns home debut
Kevin Durant felt the nerves ahead of his home debut for the Phoenix Suns but was thrilled to be back from injury.
Durant has endured injury frustration in his first months as a Suns player since his trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
The 2014 MVP joined the Suns on February 9, but he had played only three times prior to Wednesday's meeting with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
All of those games, which were won by Phoenix, came on the road.
Having missed the last 10 games due to a sprained ankle, Durant returned for his home bow against the Timberwolves, and he had 16 points, four assists and eight rebounds in a 107-100 victory.
Durant acknowledged that even with his wealth of experience to call on, it was hard to keep the nerves in check.
"It was hard for me to get sleep today, it was hard for me to stop thinking about the game," Durant said. "Sometimes you can want it too bad, and you come out, start rushing and being uncharacteristic."
Now, he aims to build up his fitness as the Suns look towards securing a postseason berth.
"I'm glad I'm back, I'm glad I'm playing again and being one of the guys. Just building from here," Durant said.
"It felt good. I miss playing, I miss being with the guys. It was a big win for us, we needed this one, but yeah I felt good being out there again."
Phoenix coach Monty Williams was impressed with what he saw from the 13-time All-Star but knows there is more to come.
"I thought he battled on both ends," Williams told reporters.
"I think his cardio has got to get back to the level he wants it. Once he gets that, we'll see the Kevin that we all know."
The Suns' third straight win saw them consolidate their grip on the Western Conference's fourth seed.
Devin Booker was the driving force for Phoenix with 29 points, with Anthony Edwards' 31-point haul not enough to inspire the Timberwolves to a winning performance.