When Kevin Durant returns from injury, Landry Shamet may serve as the Phoenix Suns' fifth closer.

When Kevin Durant returns from injury, Landry Shamet may serve as the Phoenix Suns’ fifth closer.

Jarrett, a Suns assistant coach Landry Shamet started his pregame practise at Paycom Center on Sunday afternoon, and Jack welcomed him right away.

Is he present today? Shamet smiled as Jack yelled at him. He’s returned.

Shamet played in only 25 games due to a right foot ailment, but he still managed to score 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting in Sunday’s 124-120 defeat to Oklahoma City.

It was satisfying to resume playing, Shamet said. “Watching for two months has been a difficult experience. Good feeling. It was satisfying to return to the field, and I look forward to what lies ahead as we near the finish line.

Shamet completed the game on Sunday by playing 20 minutes. His previous game was on January 16 at Memphis.

Coach Monty Williams of the Suns said, “I felt he was excellent. It’s unfortunate that he has a minute limit. most likely gave him a little more than we had anticipated. He spread the floor the right amount, so we’ll see how he reacts. He is a player we can rely on to play on the ball and go through screens defensively. His return to the lineup was welcome.

Due to injuries, Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton were unable to play on Sunday. In the fourth quarter of Thursday’s victory against Orlando, Ayton had a right hip contusion, while Durant has been out since March 8 after twisting his left ankle during a pregame workout before what would have been his home debut.

Later this month, Durant is due for a reevaluation. The two-time finals MVP will be reevaluated after three weeks, the Suns stated on March 9.

According to tankathon.com, Phoenix (38-33) has the fourth-toughest remaining schedule as it resumes its three-game road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers (35-37), ends it at Sacramento (43-27) on Friday, then returns home on Saturday to play Philadelphia (48-22) in the second of a back-to-back.

The Los Angeles Clippers (38-34) and Dallas Mavericks are two and a half games ahead of the Suns in the West, respectively (36-35).

Together with Devin Booker and Chris Paul, Durant and Ayton are starters and unquestionably a part of Phoenix’s closing lineup. On Sunday, Booker had a game-high 46 points while Paul finished with 14 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.

In the three games that Durant has participated in for the Suns since joining them in a historic deal that brought Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round selections, and a pick exchange to Brooklyn just before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, Josh Okogie received the start.

Each game was won by the Suns. Shamet was not playing at the moment due to a foot ailment.

Shamet can defend and make 3-pointers, so Williams may turn to him more often to conclude games now that he’s back.

In his 31 games (seven starts) this season, Shamet has averaged 9.5 points while shooting 38.6% from 3-point range, with 67.4% of his shot attempts being 3-pointers.

In the years 2020–2021, Shamet and Durant shared the court in Brooklyn. On the day of the 2021 draught, the Nets acquired him from Phoenix in exchange for Jevon Carter and a first-round selection.

The Nets were a plus-46 team with Durant and Shamet in the starting lineup, as the two played 29 games together that season.

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