Photo Credit: The Mercury News
After small forward Kevin Durant spent the first 9 seasons of this NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, which included 1 season as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics, he chose to sign with the Golden State Warriors this past offseason.
Tonight’s game was the third meeting between these two teams this season, and thus the third time that the game featured Durant against the Thunder. The Warriors won the previous two by a combined margin of 47 points.
However, tonight’s game was Durant’s first return to Oklahoma City in an NBA uniform, and it was his first trip to the Chesapeake Energy Arena as a member of the visiting squad. After nearly a decade of Durant putting blood, sweat, and tears into basketball as a member of the Thunder, which included an NBA Finals appearance in 2012 and an NBA MVP award in 2014, one might normally expect he would receive an ovation from the crowd upon his arrival to the court. However, everyone knew that hardly anybody would give him the respect he deserved in his return. And, in fact, they did not, as many fans held up signs and wore costumes that mocked Durant for leaving the Thunder and signing with the clearly superior Warriors team.
But that didn’t stop Durant and his teammates from trouncing his ex-team on their home court. If anything, it gave them more motivation to do so. The Warriors won the game by a score of 130-114, and they did so behind a team-leading 34 points and 9 rebounds from Durant. He also dished out 3 assists, and he was involved in a few verbal exchanges with some of his ex-teammates, including Thunder superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, who led all scorers with 47 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out 8 assists, and had 1 steal in the 16-point loss.
The Warriors and Thunder are both back in action on Monday, February 13th, 2017, on the road against the Denver Nuggets at 9:00 PM EST and the Washington Wizards at 8:00 PM EST, respectively.