“I didn’t see it coming, but I looked it up and they were talking for a little bit longer,” Durant told reporters after his Phoenix Suns beat his former team 123-115 on Wednesday, November 22. “I kinda felt like it wasn’t a warm exchange.”
Durant was the recipient of a Paul blocking foul and he just hit the first free throw when things escalated.
“I knew after I saw a couple of extra minutes of them talking, I knew something different. I didn’t get to hear what was going on, but it was this crazy sequence of like, three or four technical fouls, Chris getting thrown out of the game. You know the history that he and Scott have, it was definitely a weird ending to the half, but I’m glad we got points out of it.”
Devin Booker hit all three technical free throws, then Durant made his second off Paul’s foul that extended the Suns’ lead to 63-47 at halftime.
Those free throws came in handy for the Suns, who had to weather a late Warriors’ rally in the second half. Golden State’s second unit brought the Warriors within three with 19 seconds left. Booker and Durant would again steady at the stripes to seal the win.
Durant is now 2-0 against the Warriors, whom he helped to win two championships in the past, this season.
Steve Kerr Rues Warriors’ Fouling Spree
While Steve Kerr was pleased with his Warriors’ collective spirit to mount a late comeback, he lamented the huge free throw disparity which put them at a huge disadvantage.
“Foul, foul, foul, foul,” Kerr lamented. “You can’t win in the NBA if you’re constantly trying to attack a set defense after free throws and you’re basically giving up 44 points.”
The Warriors gave up a season-high 52 free throw attempts to the Suns.
Durant was a perfect 15-for-15 while Booker missed only once in his 14 trips to overcome a rough 5-of-15 shooting night.
The Warriors only went to the free-throw line 29 times and missed 10.
Chris Paul’s Reaction to Suns Video Tribute
The ejection cut short Paul’s return to Phoenix after playing for three seasons with the Suns and leading them to the NBA Finals in 2021.
He finished six points, six assists and two rebounds.
Before the game, the Suns played a video tribute and when asked to comment about it, Paul was surprised.
“Man, I’m in the back,” Paul told the reporters. “Well, then I appreciate it. Like for real man, this fan base is amazing to me and my family.”
“And I mean every game, like seven minutes on the clock, I’m in the back and trying to get this engine started pregame. But man, I appreciate them wholeheartedly. Seriously. I have three amazing years here.”
The Suns traded Paul to the Washington Wizards as part of the Bradley Beal package. The Wizards, in turn, traded him to the Warriors for a package headlined by Jordan Poole, a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick, Ryan Rollins, a 2027 second-round pick and cash considerations.
Paul is averaging a career-low 9.6 points and 7.6 assists for the Warriors as he’s struggling to find his rhythm in and out of the starting lineup.