Deadly Durant mutes the Thunder
Old boy Durant erupts to shred Oklahoma in highly anticipated reunion
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 122
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 96
The first battle between Kevin Durant and his former team went firmly in Durant's favour, as the Golden State Warriors blew apart the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-96 in Oakland yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Amid breathless speculation as to just what the meeting between Durant and former All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook would look like, the Warriors ended the suspense by half-time, with Durant totally dominant in a 39-point display.
Durant matched his career high with seven three-pointers, pulled down seven rebounds and blocked a shot as the Warriors handed Westbrook and the Thunder their first defeat of the young season after four straight victories.
"KD is KD. He's gonna do what he do," said the Warriors' Draymond Green, who acknowledged that Golden State were keen to get their new addition a win over his old team.
"They're going to want to beat him really bad. He's going to want to beat them really bad," Green said before tip-off, even as Durant and Westbrook insisted it was just another day at the office.
"In turn, we're going to want to beat them really bad because we want him to beat them really bad."
Durant shocked many when he opted to join the Warriors as a free agent after Golden State ousted the Thunder in last season's Western Conference finals.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that he thought Durant had been portrayed unfairly as denigrating his former team in some pre-season comments.
"He said something about, he loves his new teammates," Kerr said.
"That was somehow construed that he didn't love his old teammates.
"It's almost like he has to qualify everything he says by making sure he doesn't insinuate anything."
Asked if he was relieved to have the much-anticipated first meeting out of the way, Durant insisted that he wasn't focused on the reunion.
"I'm worrying about tomorrow we play the Lakers, trying to finish off this back-to-back," he said.
"Keep trying to get better, man, that's all I'm worried about."
The result left the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers as the only undefeated team in the league, after a 128-122 victory over the Boston Celtics yesterday morning that pushed the Cavs to 5-0.
LeBron James scored 20 of his season-high 30 points in the third period and added 12 assists for the Cavaliers, who are 5-0 for the first time since the 1976-77 season, when they started 8-0.
James' 30 points left him very close to another career milestone.
With two more points, he will move past Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) into 10th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Despite the Cavs' run, the night was all about the reunion in Oakland.
Durant was sublime, scoring 29 in the first half. He smiled. He trash- talked, he was simply unstoppable.
Westbrook scored 20 points with 10 assists and six rebounds for the Thunder, who were coming off a tough 85-83 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
"We just wanted to come out here and play a good brand of basketball," Durant said.
"We wanted to defend, get out in front... we get a lot of points up and get stops on the defensive end, we're pretty good, so it's a good night for us." - AFP.
- Orlando Magic 102 Sacramento Kings 94
- Milwaukee Bucks 125 Indiana Pacers 107
- Minnesota Timberwolves 99 Denver Nuggets 102
- Cleveland Cavaliers 128 Boston Celtics 122.