Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

Durant brilliant in return to OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant had 34 points in his return to Oklahoma City, and the Warriors overcame 47 points from Russell Westbrook in a 130-114 victory Saturday night.

Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry added 26 points each for Golden State. But the focus was on Durant, who spent his first nine seasons with the Oklahoma City franchise — the past eight after it moved from Seattle — before signing as a free agent with the Warriors.

Durant added nine rebounds for Golden State, which led by double digits for most of the game. Westbrook just missed another triple double with 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Seven hours before the game, Westbrook provided his most expansive quotes yet on his fractured relationship with Durant.

Westbrook didn't go in depth. But he didn't ignore Durant questions, either, which has been his typical tactic this season, his first in the NBA without his former co-star.

"You know, we grew up here together," Westbrook said before the game, which had not ended by press time. "And you know, since then decisions have been made on what's best for him and his future and I made a decision that was best for mine, and that's just how it's been."

Westbrook was asked how both could label each other as "brothers" in the past and now not even be on speaking terms.

"I mean, sometimes it happens like that," Westbrook said. "Ain't nothing I can say about it. Sometimes that's how things go."

Westbrook was asked if Durant's departure still hurt.

"Hurt? I mean, I'm fine," Westbrook said. "… Things happen in life, man. As a man, you've got to move forward. I have a great group of guys here that I love like my brothers. There's been many a teammate that I had here before that left me, and they're my brothers — that I still talk to do and that I don't talk to. It's not just Kevin."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: LeBron James and Kyrie Irving scored 27 each and combined for three 3-pointers in Cleveland's long-range barrage in the third quarter that sent the Cavaliers to a 125-109 victory over the Nuggets. … Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington and Dario Saric scored 19 each to lead the host 76ers to a 117-109 victory over Miami, snapping the Heat's winning streak at 13 games. … Giannis Antetokoumpo had 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to help the visiting Bucks beat the Pacers 116-100. … Blake Griffin had 20 points and 12 rebounds, Austin Rivers scored 16 of his 18 in the second half and the visiting Clippers beat the Hornets 107-102.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: 76ers rookie center Joel Embiid missed his ninth straight game due to a bruised left knee. His absence came one night after cellphone video captured him dancing on stage at a Meek Mill concert in Philadelphia, causing a mini firestorm. "Meek invited me to the stage," Embiid said. "I had fun. That's what I'm about, just enjoying life." … Hornets center Cody Zeller sat out because of a sore thigh.

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