After an emotionally charged 108-91 Thunder win over the Warriors, Westbrook had to pause briefly and think, his thoughts and engine still running from the Thunder's first win over Golden State in seven regular-season games. They kicked our (expletive), they played a great game.
The two former MVPs had heated conversation throughout the matchup between the Thunder and the Warriors, and had a few really intense moments during the game.
Mark Medina (Mercury News) on KD feeling more at peace on this trip to Oklahoma: "But while the Thunder has changed its team identity since Durant last faced them in Oklahoma City, Durant believes he has changed his personal identity".
MVP Russell Westbrook was the star of the show and posted a near triple-double with a season-high 34 points to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists.
While Durant may say it was just ball, the usually mellow superstar's behavior may have proved he hasn't resolved some issues within himself.
Westbrook, who usually is animated anyway, was more talkative on the court than usual.
Despite the obvious tension on the court, both players brushed it off after the game and downplayed their clash.
"That's my game", Westbrook said. Golden State won all four meetings last season by an average of almost 20 points. "They brought the energy, brought the juice, brought the intelligence and we didn't bring any of that".
"It's not about who was in each other's faces".
This Thansgiving, a lot of National Basketball Association fans are thankful for some good old trash talking among former teammates turned rivals. "Just keep it at basketball and it'll be all right". That stuff is not real. That's it. And obviously my teammates, but I go out to compete and to guard and play at a high level. All the fans, they lying to you all.
Westbrook has 33 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals through the third quarter. The two teams will meet again on February 6.
"Thirty-four points off turnovers, you can't win like that", Green said.