Written by Matt Moore at CBSSports.com
There would be no sequence as if out of a movie on this night. This is sports, where the better team almost always wins.
A night after the Chicago Cubs completed the feel-good story of the century with a dramatic Game 7 victory in the World Series, there would be no such dramatics in Oakland, California. The Golden State Warriors faced the franchise from which they took the second-best player in the league– Kevin Durant– and beat them into oblivion. The Warriors beat Oklahoma City 122-96, but led by as many as 31.
In what was billed as a high-stakes matchup in the feud between Durant and Russell Westbrook, Durant left no doubt who came out better of the exchange when he left to join the team that beat him in the playoffs last spring. It was a total evisceration. The Thunder played well to start the game, but the Warriors put on a blistering show, the kind we had been expecting since Durant signed with Golden State. Durant was a human inferno, smiling and laughing as he burned his former teammates for 39 points on 15-of-24 shooting and 7-of-11 from 3-point range.
Durant even stayed in during the fourth quarter when the game was well out of hand. There was no mercy, there was no notion of being beyond needing to rub it in. For Durant, this was clearly about the little jabs that had come from former teammates, critics and whoever else. All those critics he yelled at in his post-practice workout? They were in flesh and blood, and Durant let them know who he is.
Kevin Durant. Former MVP. Second-best in the world. Golden State Warrior.
The Warriors were merciless. They egged on Durant, constantly finding him on cuts to the rim for dunks, 3-pointers on the perimeter and celebrating with jubilation whenever he did anything. Durant embraced the Warrior’s aura of embarrassing teams and letting them know about it. When Enes Kanter chirped at Durant during a stoppage, Durant responded. Durant was spotted later saying, “Keep talking.”
Durant let his game do the talking, and he talked, and his teammates talked. There was a lot of talking.
The message, though, was clear. Durant joined the Warriors to take a special, once-in-a-lifetime team and make them better. They looked the part against OKC.
To continue reading this article, click here.