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Suns’ Kevin Durant, Frank Vogel gracious of KD surpassing Shaquille O’Neal in NBA scoring history

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns and their fans have been able to witness historical moments throughout the 2023-24 season.

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From Grayson Allen breaking multiple three-pointer records to Devin Booker scoring the most points in a quarter (29), many franchise milestones have been shattered and Wednesday night was no different.

Up the Ladder

Kevin Durant surpassed former Sun Shaquille O’Neal on the NBA’s all-time scoring list as Durant has now 28,610 while Shaq had 28,596. To pass Shaq, Durant scored a jump shot in the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers. He had 22 points overall.

When asked after the Suns’ 115-102 win over the 76ers, Durant understood the type of company he is in while giving credit to O’Neal for what he accomplished in his career.

“I am just grateful to be in a category with some of the greatest,” Durant said. “We all know what Shaq meant to the game of basketball. So to be up there with him is a major, major honor in my opinion. One of the all-time greats in sports history.”

It took O’Neal 159 more games to reach his final total before retiring after 19 seasons (1992-2011). The Hall of Famer averaged 23.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

As for Durant, he is in his 16th NBA season and second with the Suns.

At 35 years old and with two years remaining on his contract, KD can now chase the late Wilt Chamberlain for seventh. Chamberlain’s record stands at 31,419 points.

Gracious to have him on his team, Suns head coach Frank Vogel spoke about Durant’s overall impact he has had on the team this season.

“We’re lucky to have him [Durant],” Vogel said. “He is one of the greatest scorers to ever play this game and one of the greatest players to play this game and what he is doing for our group is… obviously the totality of his career. You can see the numbers about passing somebody like Shaq, but what he is doing for this year’s team is far greater than just scoring a basketball.”

On the second end of a back-to-back, the Suns face the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7:30 p.m. MST.

Royce O’Neale listed as questionable tonight against Hawks

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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