In a highly anticipated match on Tuesday night, Kevin Durant found himself playing in front of the Golden State Warriors fans for the first time since his departure from the team in 2019. The Warriors organization seized the opportunity to honor their former star player with a heartfelt pre-game tribute at the Chase Center’s opening night. The gesture visibly moved Durant, who expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome.
Kevin Durant Receives Tribute Video and Standing Ovation from Warriors Prior to Season Opener Victory Against the Suns
Thousands of fans packed the Chase Center, eagerly awaiting the Welcome Back KD video. As the tribute played on the arena screens, Durant stood at center court, soaking in the nostalgic moments. The video showcased Durant’s greatest highlights during his time with the Warriors, eliciting a wave of emotions from both the player and the crowd. The fans rose to their feet, offering Durant a resounding standing ovation, which he graciously acknowledged with a hand over his heart and gestures of gratitude.
Following the tribute, the arena announcer introduced Kevin Durant as the “two-time NBA champion,” a reminder of the success he achieved during his tenure with the Bay Area team. The energy in the arena was palpable as fans eagerly anticipated Durant’s return to action.
Durant did not disappoint the eager spectators. As the primary offensive force for the Phoenix Suns, the small forward showcased his skills throughout the intense opening night game. He finished the match with an impressive stat line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Despite Durant’s strong performance, the Suns emerged victorious with a final score of 108-104.
The game itself was a thrilling back-and-forth battle, with the Suns holding a slim lead in the final minutes. Devin Booker, the Suns’ standout player, demonstrated his prowess with a 32-point performance, including three crucial assists in the closing moments of the game. With just over a minute left on the clock, Booker found Josh Okogie open in the left corner for a three-pointer, extending the Suns’ lead to 103-99.
Stephen Curry, the Warriors’ star player, attempted to narrow the gap with two free throws. However, Booker responded by drawing the defense and finding Eric Gordon open for another three-pointer, widening the Suns’ lead to five points with less than a minute remaining. The Warriors fought back, with Curry sinking a three-pointer following an offensive rebound, reducing the deficit to 106-104 with only 31.4 seconds left on the clock.
Despite their efforts, the Warriors were unable to complete the comeback, ultimately falling short to the Suns. While the outcome was disappointing for Golden State, the night was still significant for Durant’s return and the warm reception he received from the Warriors fans.
As the NBA season unfolds, fans can expect more thrilling matchups and memorable moments. The opening night served as a reminder of the impact Durant had during his time with the Warriors and the lasting connection he shares with the franchise and its supporters.