West Notes: Suns, Kevin Durant, Kings, De’Aaron Fox, Nuggets


It wasn’t always easy and star guard Devin Booker got ejected, but eventually, the Suns were able to roll past former coach Monty Williams and the Suns on Wednesday.Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns, NBA

Booker was thrown out just 5:24 into the game after receiving two technicals.

This followed an incident before the game, in the hallway, in which Pistons center Isaiah Stewart allegedly punched Suns big man Drew Eubanks. Stewart was eventually arrested and released.

 “I guess (Booker) said something that ticked the ref off, but they were on edge before the game anyway because of the situation and they thought it might escalate,” star forward Kevin Durant told reporters. “I can see it from their perspective, but I just think the techs were too quick.”

  • Williams said he had a feeling beating his old team might be a struggle for the young and rebuilding Pistons. “After Devin got thrown out, I knew our young guys didn’t understand what was about to happen,” he told reporters. “They got more physical and the game changed, we turned the ball over so many times and the momentum shifted right after that.”
  • Williams coached the Suns from 2019-22, leading them to the Finals in 2021. He received a loud ovation and a scoreboard tribute on Wednesday.
  • Durant added that the Suns just needed to handle their business. “Keep the game first. There’s a lot of noise,” he said. “It’s unfortunate what happened before the game. It’s supposed to be a brotherhood, but I also understand, dudes get into stuff. We try to avoid that in this league. Hopefully, we can move on from it. We all support Drew.”


How about those Kings? They rallied from 16 points down to beat the defending champion Nuggets in Denver on Wednesday, with guard De’Aaron Fox tallying 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

“We know our destiny is still in our hands, but at the end of the day we’ve got to get it,” coach Mike Brown told reporters. “And when you have less than 30 games (left) in the season, things start to get tight and every game matters for us.”

  • Fox scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a stretch in the final 2:02 in which he erupted for a personal 8-0 run. The Kings were down one when he started — and up seven by the time he was done.
  • Fox on the victory: “When your entire bench and everybody out there on the court with you have that confidence in you for you to go make a play, I can’t help but have confidence in myself. Sometimes, it doesn’t go my way. That’s fine, but tonight it went my way and we were able to grind out this win.”


Coach Michael Malone said the Nuggets are paying a little bit of a price for being champions. Namely, not a single opponent is taking them lightly these days.

“We have a bullseye on our back now,” Malone told reporters after Wednesday’s home loss to the Kings. “For 82 games, we’re going to get everybody’s best, from a team in Sacramento or from teams that may be down in the standings. There are no easy nights for us.”

  • Denver was without starting guards Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. “We’re not healthy,” Malone said. “We have the best five-man starting unit in the league. The last three games we haven’t had those five guys together. I think it’s more of that.”

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