By Michael Kinney
The build up around the first encounter between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant was humongous. However, the hype dwarfed the actually play on the court as the Golden State Warriors rolled to a 122-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday in Oakland.
From the second quarter on, the Warriors dominated in every way possible. The only intriguing part of the game was the interactions between the main characters in the unfolding drama.
There were no handshakes, no fist bumps, no hugs or even fake hellos. Westbrook and Durant just tried to go about their business.
And business was good for Durant his his new Warriors. He scored 39 points on 15 of 24 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. He also had a few words for his former teammates during the game. He got into a verbal back and forth with Enes Kanter, who was sitting on the Thunder bench at the time.
Durant wasn’t finished with Kanter once the game ended.
“He was talking to me,” Durant said. “How many minutes did he play. I’m sure he’s going to put something on Twitter tonight.”
Durant had even more to say about the entire team.
“Trash talking is part of it,” Durant said. “I’m going to go out there and be who I am. If you talk, I’ll talk back. I don’t really say much. But if you start it, I’ll finish it.”
The Thunder were unable to fight back. They weren’t ready for the type of fight the Warriors brought to them.
Besides Westbrook, Steven Adams, Enes Kanter and Andre Roberson, the rest of the team’s key performers are new to the level of intensity needed for that type of game. And it showed in the second quarter when they looked rattled during a 19-1 run that blew the game open.
Westbrook, who had been averaging a triple double, was held to 20 points, 10 assists and six rebounds in only 29 minutes of action.
The Thunder head back to Oklahoma City with a five game home stand that starts Saturday against Minnesota at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“We’ll get ready for the next game, man,” Westbrook said. “It’s one game, one loss for us. We’ll move on, get ready for the next one.”
But, that doesn’t mean Westbrook won’t remember the trash talk the Warriors threw at the Thunder the next time they face-off, which is Jan. 16 back in Oakland.
“The Warriors are doing a lot of trash talking,” Westbrook told the media after the game. “Apparently I guess they talk a lot of trash now, but we’ll see how that goes. I guess that’s what they do. But we’ll see them again.“