The Charlotte Hornets ended a five-game winning streak Thursday with a 105-91 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
With Kevin Durant making his much-anticipated debut with Phoenix, the Hornets (20-44) trailed throughout, doomed by missed shots and 13 turnovers.
The Hornets shot 36% from the field and hit 27% of their three-point attempts.
Kelly Oubre led the Hornets in scoring, finishing with 26 points (9-24 FG, 3-10 3PT) and 9 rebounds.
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Durant, playing before a sellout crowd in Charlotte, scored 23 points (10-15 FG, 2-4 3PT), 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Devin Booker led the Suns (33-29) with 37 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
Four takeaways from the game
- The scoring/playmaking of LaMelo Ball (out for the season) was missed throughout the game. Before fracturing his ankle on Feb. 27, Ball was leading the team in scoring and assist. A big constributed in the Hornet’s five-game winning streak.
- The Hornets need a consistent go-to scorer and three-point shooter. Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier will be leaned on heavily for points in the absence of Ball, but their inconsitency doesn’t help the team when they face offensive juggernauts like the Suns.
- The team is in desperate need of a veteran wing defender. Suns guard Devin Booker and forward Kevin Durant led the way for the Suns, combining for 60 points. This is a regular trend for the team to give up big numbers to opposing guard and wings.
- Durant’s presence makes the Suns a matchup nightmare for any team they face. The Hornets focused on Durant whenever he was on the court, allowing other players to score. Booker finished with 37 points and DeAndre Ayton had 16 points. Chris Paul didn’t put up many points (2), but lead team with 11 assist.