Naturally, there was a great deal of anticipation about Kevin Durant’s first trip back to Oklahoma City this season, what with his ongoing icy relationship with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder’s revamped roster now posing a more legitimate threat to the Warriors’ supremacy. Durant tried his best to downplay the matchup as “just another game” for him, but it’s clear watching both sides in this rivalry that’s not the case.
OKC came out blazing in the first half, and they carried that momentum into the third quarter where they eventually pushed the lead to 20. Durant heard the jeers every time he touched the ball, and on this sequence midway through the period, he tried to put the moves on Russ, but the reigning MVP was able to slap the ball out of his hands and immediately started shaking his head in defiance at his former-teammate-turned arch nemesis.
They kept jawing at each other from there and eventually ended up forehead-to-forehead before they had to be separated by teammates and the officials.
The crowded loved it, and the energy inside the arena has been at full tilt as the Thunder are on the brink of a rare victory against Golden State since Durant’s departure.
Russ has kicked it into high gear all game long, and it’s rubbed off on his teammates, who are all feeding off the energy from the ongoing animosity between these two superstar titans.