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Suns Injury Report: Kevin Durant and Co Suffer Double Blow as Rockets Seek Redemption at Home

Published 02/23/2024, 6:42 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Phoenix Suns are gearing up for a thrilling back-to-back showdown against the Houston Rockets. The team will look to bounce back from the recent setback against the Dallas Mavericks, leaving them with a 33-23 record. Luckily, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker picked off right where they left off before the All-Star break, maintaining the Suns’ quest to avoid the play-in showdown.

However, the Suns will face a significant challenge as they head into the upcoming battle shorthanded. Bradley Beal and Jusuf Nurkic are confirmed to be sidelined for the game. Beal is still recovering from hamstring stiffness, and Nurkic is dealing with an ankle injury.

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Beal is set to miss his third consecutive game. Hopefully, Head Coach Frank Vogel could provide insight into the guard’s return during his post-game media appearance. Meanwhile, Nurkic’s injury is fresh and might be linked to the previous matchup. The exact moment of his injury remains undisclosed, leaving a mystery around the fact that Nurkic, who typically averages 27 minutes per game this season, played only 20 minutes against Dallas. However, the Suns mostly leaned towards small-ball lineups, hinting that Nurkic’s reduced minutes could be influenced by the in-game situation.

Nevertheless, the Suns face a formidable challenge without Beal and Nurkic, who contribute an average of more than 25 points per game. Additionally, Nurkic, their primary big man, leaves a void in the rebounding department.

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In contrast, the Houston team is enjoying relative health, with Tari Eason being the sole player sidelined due to injury management. Fueled by a desire for revenge after their 129-113 loss in December, the Rockets are poised to use the opportunity and bring their A-game to the clash.

Kevin Durant will need reinforcements against the Rockets

Fresh off their first post-All-Star break losses, both the Rockets and Suns are looking to regain momentum. In the December clash, Kevin Durant delivered a stellar triple-double, propelling the team to a solid performance. Following that, the Suns embarked on an impressive 4-0 run, finding their groove.

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However, this time, they are emerging from a less-than-stellar outing, with KD managing only 23 points and 1 assist. Adding to the woes, the team grappled with 16 turnovers in the game. With that, the Suns will need to add significant contributors on the court, and play without Nurkic, adapting to what Houston brings to the court.

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The NBA season is entering its final stretch. With that, the Suns need to shift gears from getting healthy first and then playing their best ball. The upcoming match against the Rockets holds more significance than meets the eye. The two teams will face off twice after the game at hand; that too, within the next 10 days. The outcome of these games can significantly the team’s morale and their overall standing within the competitive Western Conference.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports who discovered his basketball passion through the dynamic between Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Years later, Kobe Bryant reignited his love, transforming him into an extensive contributor who savors the matches, covers games live, analyzes post-game pressers, and reports on injuries. With his stories, he aims at making readers feel the intense drama unfolding on the court every day.
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Edited by:

Vishav