'No emotions at all' – Durant unmoved by facing Irving in Suns' victory
Kevin Durant felt "no emotions at all" when facing former team-mate Kyrie Irving in the Phoenix Suns' 130-126 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Durant and Irving both joined the Brooklyn Nets prior to the 2019-20 season and endured a mixed spell with the team before the pair were traded away prior to the trade deadline in early February.
Irving was dealt to the Mavericks before Durant was traded to the Suns two days later, setting the pair up to play against each other on Sunday in a repeat of last season's Western Conference semi-finals.
Dallas may have advanced from that series with a 123-90 Game 7 blowout in Phoenix, but it was the Suns who took victory this time as Durant hit the game-winner with 12 seconds left before grabbing the crucial rebound as Luka Doncic could not get an uncontested layup to drop.
Durant scored 37 points while Irving also reached 30, with the Suns forward saying he put emotions to one side when taking on his former colleague.
"[There were] no emotions at all," Durant told reporters at his post-game press conference. "It's another game.
"Like I told somebody earlier. I played most of my career against Kyrie. He was on my team for the last couple of years, but for the majority of my career I played against him, so I know how that feels.
"I just think that we were both locked in on the floor and want to go out there and be the best that we can be. And sometimes you get distracted trying to hang out talking, catching up on old times with a friend.
"So we were both locked in, and I'm glad we got the win."
Durant played 40 minutes for the first time since December 4 as he made it three straight road wins since joining the Suns, hitting 12 of 17 from the field while adding seven rebounds and three assists to help Phoenix move to 36-29 on the season.
It was the type of star-studded game Durant relishes.
He said: "It felt great, being able to play 40 minutes, being in a fourth-quarter game where we had to be locked in all the way to the last possession, that's always fun.
"Playing against two hall-of-fame players on the other side just makes the game even more fun. I'm glad we could come out here and get a win."
Durant is set to make his home debut on Wednesday when the Suns host the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he cannot wait to play in front of his new fans for the first time.
"I'm glad we had a couple on the road to get my feet wet because I know it's going to be loud in there," Durant added. "I'm looking forward to our fans, I know they can't wait to see us out on the floor."