It finally happened. For the first time since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors after the 2015-16 season, OKC defeated Golden State. But this was different than your typical long-awaited win. This was perfect. Wednesday night was all about Russ, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I’d be doing all of you a disservice if we didn’t focus on Russ here. He finished with a season high 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. His energy was, dare I say it, palpable from the opening tip. He was angry, motivated, and fast all night long, and there was nothing the defending champs could do about it.
There’s plenty of highlights we could turn to, but these two in particular stand out.
This is something we have all been waiting for for two years. Yeah they’ve chirped at each other in the past, but this is what we were really looking for.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook get into it once again pic.twitter.com/nmCCkgXXmi— BallersHype (@BallersHype) November 23, 2017
And then there’s Russ blowing past Klay Thompson for an angry slam, followed by two loud exclamations of, “OH MY GOD.”
This is exactly how Russ’ first win against KD was suppose to happen, and I’m so happy it unfolded the way it did. Even though we had to wait through all of last season, it was definitely worth it.
An alternative spotlight if you’re tired of hearing Westbrook praise? THE THUNDER HAD A DOUBLE DIGIT LEAD AND HELD ONTO IT. Wow, that felt great to write.
- Russ was not alone tonight. He was supported by Paul George’s 20 and 11, Melo’s 22, and Steven Adams’ 14 and 12. When the
OK3OK4 plays like they did last night, it’s a pretty sight.
- George was arguably the best defensive player on the floor against Golden State. He was extremely disruptive and finished with 4 steals on the night, and had a reported 10 ball deflections, which are crucial to disrupting the Warriors’ offensive timing. His length is so advantageous on the defensive end and this was a great example of that.
- This needs to be reiterated. The Thunder had a double digit lead early tonight, and held on for the entire game. I wasn’t sure we’d ever see the day, but thank god it happened.
- Does this mean Dennis Smith has officially made it?
Russell Westbrook on the emotions of the game tonight: “I play the same way every night, whether it’s against Kevin or, whoever we play Friday, Detroit and Reggie Jackson.” pic.twitter.com/1jMzGkB9cD— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 23, 2017
- The crowd at the ‘Peake last night was absolutely electric. This is the type of game that could jump start a season and ideally break OKC out of their funk. Don’t be surprised if the Thunder look rejuvenated post-Thanksgiving on Friday.
- Westbrook clearly wasn’t happy about finishing an assist shy of a triple-double. This clip of him yelling at Steven Adams to shoot is pretty great, but KD and Steph Curry’s reaction on the Golden State bench makes it even better. I love the NBA.
KD and Steph appear to react to Russ telling Adams to shoot the ball while needing one assist for a triple-double pic.twitter.com/gLZIMFkFWn— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 23, 2017
Lastly, remember Stache Bros Enes Kanter’s final words to the Thunder after getting traded?
A Look Ahead
OKC has a quick turnaround after Thanksgiving, welcoming the Pistons to town tomorrow, followed by a Saturday night trip to Dallas.
Like Westbrook said, it doesn’t matter if it’s Reggie Jackson or Dennis Smith, he’s going to bring it every night. Let’s hope he does for this weekend’s back-to-back. Two strong performances here could really spark the Thunder going forward.
Happy Thanksgiving to the WTLC community!