“Too Much..”: Kevin Durant Calls Out Devin Booker for Taking New Role Too Seriously After 52-point Night

Published 01/19/2024, 11:40 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Devin Booker shined brightly as he launched an out-pour of points against the Pelicans, defeating them 123-109. With a season-high 52 points, Book just amazed everyone with his scoring prowess. But Kevin Durant pointed out one flaw going into the matchup.

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In the post-game talks, KD called Booker out for “playing his point guard role too much“. He thought that everyone on the team knew what they were doing. While he appreciated the aggressive approach Devin had, it wasn’t to his taste.

“Early on, he was trying to get everyone involved and trying to play point guard too much. It was like, ‘You should’ve took that shot there or you should’ve drove right there instead of trying to probe and get us going’,” he said.

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But aside from that, he only had good things to say about the 3x All-Star. When asked about his 52-point night, Durant said that what he did was something he expected of Book. While it’s not easy to play on that level every game, it certainly is welcome and expected of a guard of Devin’s caliber.

Durant was also high on praises for Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. KD said that slowing Williamson isn’t happening. So, the only way to go was by putting multiple defenders on the young Pelicans star. This, coming from a practically impossible-to-guard ‘Slim Reaper,’ is quite the compliment.

Durant’s defensive assignment for the night was Ingram. KD calls him a “rhythm flow player” who can just take off in a matter of seconds. So, trying to keep the ball away from him and getting physical was the way with BI. The Pelicans are an emerging young team, and KD’s comments on their star players give further proof of the same.

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With tonight’s win, Phoenix extended their winning streak to four games. Along with Booker, Durant contributed 26 points, two assists, and five rebounds. Bradley Beal and Grayson Allen had 13 and 12 points for the team, respectively. Jusuf Nurkić, for his part, had a game-high 15 rebounds and nine assists tonight.

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Booker also hit all of his 10 free throws, while landing 18-of-30 field goals. The first half itself saw the Suns taking a 69-52 lead. It continued to the third, with New Orleans managing to finish the fourth quarter with a 29-23 score. But it was a little too little late. The Suns’ sharpshooting skills, coupled with an aggressive Devin Booker, sealed the deal early.

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Arizona will be facing the Indiana Pacers next for the first time this season. The former is 23-18 in the West while the latter holds a 24-18 record in the East. The last time they met, the Suns had come out victorious. Can they continue that streak against a high-rolling Tyrese Haliburton-led Indiana this season? Or will the fresh loss against the Blazers propel the young team to snap the Suns’ winning streak?

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Written by:

Geisha Pulimoottil Don

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“Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball” - Jackson had a simple philosophy when he was coaching the Lakers. He wanted everyone to succeed and grow in the service of something bigger than themselves. This is what struck me the most.
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Edited by:

Vishav

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