The off-court fire between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has died down from the volcanic levels it sustained last season but there’s still plenty of tension whenever the two face off.
They both say there’s no longer a rift off-court but it’s clear they are desperate to best each other on it, and we saw plenty of evidence of that during Golden State’s 111-107 win over Oklahoma City, their third win in a row at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Their individual stat lines were fairly good indicators of that determination.
Durant – 34 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
Westbrook – 44 points, 16 rebounds and 6 assists (plus 6 turnovers).
The third quarter gave us what we all wanted with the pair guarding each other across multiple possessions, with Westbrook winning that battle.
It was Durant who won the war however. But it was close.
Westbrook’s final rebound and put-back was incredible and brought the margin back to four with 1.15 remaining and then he stole a Durant pass to set up an easy layup and a two point margin with 20 seconds remaining.
But steady free throw shooting from the Warriors sealed the win, giving KD a 5-2 advantage when the pair have squared off against each other.
No one will ever forget the first time he went back to OKC, Westbrook giving the fans what they wanted with 47 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and ONE GREAT LINE, “I’m Coming!”.
That game on February 11th, 2017 ended in a blowout Warriors win, 130-114 with Durant pouring in 34 points, 9 rebounds and one great reply, “So What?”.
This game also featured a whole lot of cupcakes. Cupcakes being eaten, cupcakes on t-shirts and some great cupcake signs – the ultimate insult a player might receive from the Thunder locker room from the days Durant played there, insinuating the player is soft.
We may be getting some more clashes in the near future, with a possible 2 vs 7 matchup looming in the first round of the playoffs.
November 3, 2016: Golden State wins 122-96 at home. Westbrook 20,10,6. Durant 39 & 7 rebounds.
January 18, 2017: Golden state wins 121-100 at home. 27,15,13 for Westbrook. Durant 40,12,4.
February 11, 2017: Golden State wins 130-114 in OKC. Westbrook 47,11, 8 and Durant 34,9,3 in his first game back in Oklahoma City.
November 22, 2017: OKC won 108-91 at home. Westbrook 34, 10, 9 with 4 steals, Durant 21,5,2.
February 7th, 2018: OKC won 125-105 on the road, Westbrook 34, 9, 9, Durant 33,6.
February 24th, 2018: Golden State won 112-80 at home. Westbrook 15, 12, 7, shooting 4/15. Durant 28,5,2.
April 3, 2018 – Golden State won 111-107 on the road. Westbrook 44, 16, 6. Durant 34, 10, 4.
NB: Durant was inactive for the fourth and final clash between the two teams in the 2016-17 season.