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The Los Angeles Lakers‘ defensive tacts proved futile as the Phoenix Suns came out strong with a score of 123-113. Kevin Durant and Co. established momentum from the start, posting 45 points in the opening quarter. Despite the Lakers rallying with a commendable comeback in the third, they fell short of overcoming the dynamic duo of Devin Booker and Durant.

After the game, Kevin Durant acknowledged the Lakers’ defensive attempts to get some stops and thwart the Suns. Additionally, he praised his teammates and admitted that he could have converted some of the missed shots. Moreover, in a retaliatory response to recent comments from Charles Barkley, Durant asserted, “The ‘leadership’ was incredible tonight.”

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The clash between Durant and Barkley stems from the last weekend when Charles Barkley was providing commentary on the All-Star game. During his stint, Barkley remarked, “No disrespect to Kevin. Kevin’s a follower. He’s not a leader. He’s proven that on all his stops.” It was not the first time Barkley had put shade onto Durant’s overall game.

Against the Lakers, the Suns demonstrated a well-balanced performance throughout the roster, with four starters reaching the 20-point mark. Even though Durant struggled from the field, shooting 7 of 20, he still managed to score 22 points. While both teams exhibited similar shooting overall, the Suns’ victory through comes through their relentless drive to find open lanes and capitalize on trips to the free-throw line.

Read More – Shaquille O’Neal Next For Kevin Durant After He Surpasses Carmelo Anthony on Historic List

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Moreover, with Anthony Davis focusing on stopping Jusuf Nurkic in the paint, the Suns took advantage of the open areas and box-outs, amassing 11 more offensive rebounds than the Lakers in the game.

Kevin Durant took a shot at Barkley’s perspective earlier

Behind the Suns’ outstanding performance, Kevin Durant added a touch of sass by taking a jab at Barkley. However, earlier, Durant responded to Barkley’s comments in a more composed manner, aiming to completely reshape Barkley’s perspective. While the post-game remarks may seem like a direct reaction, Durant provided a more extensive and expressive reply to Barkley’s comments in a recent Boardroom episode.

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In the episode, where he discussed life and basketball with his agent, Rich Kleiman, Durant focused on addressing his perception. “I don’t feel like I need people to call me a leader, but I also don’t feel like I want people to say I’m not one, either,” expressed Durant, seeking peace with Barkley’s criticism. In backing up, he emphasized that people might not be aware of the nature of his off-the-court efforts, relationships with teammates, and connections.

Furthermore, Durant tackled the media aspect, stating that he doesn’t feel the necessity to craft a “TV personality,” even though he understands its importance.