Sunday’s matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns marked the first meeting between Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, since they were traded from the Brooklyn Nets.
Durant’s Suns came out on top, downing Irving’s Mavericks 130-126.
After leading his team to victory, KD was asked about playing against his former teammate. He replied by downplaying the matchup, calling it “another game.”
“No emotions at all. It’s another game. Like I told somebody earlier, most of my career, I played against Kyrie,” he said via AZ Central’s Duane Rankin. So, he was on my team for the last couple of years, but the majority of my career I played against him, so I know how that feels. I just think that we both were locked in on the floor. We want to go out there and be the best that we can be. Sometimes you get distracted from hanging out, talking, and catching up on old times with your friends. So we were both locked in and I’m glad we got the W.”
His view was similar to that of Irving, who discussed squaring off against Durant a few days prior.
“Playing against the new-look Suns with KD and I think it’ll be an exciting time for us to compete again, compete against each other,” Irving told reporters. “That’s my brother for life, again, but when we’re stepping out there I’m looking forward to the competition, the friendly competition.”
Both stars balled out in the primetime matchup. Durant lit it up in Dallas, hanging a game-high 37 points on Kyrie’s Mavs. He was efficient in doing so, knocking down 12 of his 17 shots on Sunday.
Irving pieced together a strong game as well. He poured in 30 points for the Mavericks, while also dishing 7 assists.
Mavs’ Luka Doncic Takes Shot at Devin Booker After Fiery Exchange
While the matchup between the former Nets teammates was the headline prior to Sunday’s game, all the talk afterwards was about Luka Doncic and Devin Booker‘s face-to-face altercation.
Right after Doncic missed a chance to tie the game with just a few seconds to play, he and Booker got into each others faces, exchanging some words.
Dallas’ young star spoke to the press following his team’s tough loss. He discussed his run in with the Suns guard and even took a subtle shot at him.
“It’s fine. It’s just a competitive game, man. It’s all good. Just, next time, don’t wait until there are three seconds left to talk,” the Doncic jabbed via Landon Thomas of Mavs Fans For Life.
Devin Booker Explains Run In with Mavs’ Luka Doncic
Booker also took the time to detail the debacle during his postgame availability. His approach was a bit different than Doncic’s, as he downplayed the exchange.
“I’m not here to tattletale. I mean, I was talking to the ref,” Booker replied via WFAA’s Cameron Cox. “He said something to me first and I responded. You guys (media) say you don’t want everyone to be friendly-friendly, there you go.”
He was then question on if he thinks that the altercation may have stemmed back to last year’s playoff series between the two teams, when Dallas eliminated his Suns.
“Yeah, I mean it’s just two competitors going at it. Like I just said, everyone speaks on how friendly the NBA is now, and they don’t like that. I have no problem with Luka, on or off the court. But, when we’re competing, we’re competing.”