Suns’ Kevin Durant on His Chemistry With Deandre Ayton: ‘Definitely Room to Grow’

Suns stars Deandre Ayton and Kevin Durant

Getty Suns stars Deandre Ayton and Kevin Durant

After the Phoenix Suns defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 2, Kevin Durant told Duane Rankin of that there’s “definitely room to grow” in terms of his chemistry with Deandre Ayton.

“Definitely room to grow,” Durant said. “The more reps that we can get, the better we can get. DA is a huge target. He has touch out to the middy. So if we can get him the ball in his positions to score, then that’s gonna make us even more dangerous. Sometimes I drive to the rim, his man gonna come up and help sometimes to contest my midrange and I can just dump it off. I can be more better. I can be better those situations and be more patient. Wait for DA a little bit more in the post, but we gonna get better at it.”

The Suns beat the Thunder by a final score of 128-118. Durant had 35 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Ayton finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Phoenix has won five games in a row. The team is 6-0 with Durant in the lineup and 43-35 overall on the season. The Suns are in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with four games left in the regular season.

Durant is averaging 26.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists with the Suns while shooting 60.4% from the field, 51.9% from beyond the arc and 88.6% from the free-throw line. The two-time Finals MVP already has three 30-point games.

The Suns Are on Fire

The Suns are the hottest team in the NBA, as they have the longest current winning streak. With Durant, Ayton, Devin Booker and Chris Paul leading the way, Phoenix is trending in the right direction with the playoffs right around the corner.

“The Suns are now three games up in the loss column on the Clippers (41-38) and Warriors (41-38) with three games to play for the two latter teams and Phoenix in possession of both tiebreakers, thanks to conference record with the Clippers (24-25 to Phoenix’s 28-20) and head-to-head record with the Warriors (Suns were 3-1),” Kellan Olson of wrote on April 2. “That means one more Suns win locks in a finish above both teams or a loss for either cements the fate for that specific team of being unable to pass Phoenix.

“Outside of the top-6 in the seventh and eighth positions, the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers are both 40-38 with four games remaining, like Phoenix. The tiebreaker with New Orleans is to be determined, as it would go to conference record and the Suns are 28-20 while the Pelicans are 28-21. So instead of a magic number of one, that would be a two for now. Phoenix already owns the tiebreaker over the Lakers because of Los Angeles’ 5-9 division record to Phoenix’s 9-5 mark, so one more Suns win or Lakers loss would wrap that up as well.”

The Suns take on the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers to close out the regular season.

Analyst: Kevin Durant & Devin Booker Are the Only Players on the Suns Who Are Untouchable

In a March 28 story called “Who Should Be Untouchable On Every NBA Team This Offseason?,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley said Durant and Booker are the only players on the Suns who are untouchable.

“Talent-wise, Booker and Durant rise above the rest of this roster. Frankly, they rise above the majority of this league. A healthy Durant has a credible case as the best player in basketball. Booker has climbed up so far on the NBA ladder he’s running out of rungs,” Buckley wrote. “They aren’t the only players in this discussion for the Phoenix Suns, though. While they could shop Chris Paul or Deandre Ayton, it’s hard to envision finding a better plug-and-play option for either spot. It would more likely involve Ayton than Paul, since the former is younger and plays less of a premium position, but neither seems super likely. Not super likely isn’t the same as impossible, though, and that’s before accounting for how an early playoff exit might impact that likelihood. What if teams dare Paul to consistently score on them, and the 37-year-old can’t? What if Ayton can’t stay on the floor again? The Suns could then be in line for substantial changes this summer, just none that involve Booker or Durant.”

If the Suns don’t go on a deep postseason run, it’s possible Paul or Ayton could be traded.