OKLAHOMA CITY — A powerful Kevin Durant drive was met by a hard Andre Roberson foul. Durant landed, turned and barked at Roberson. Then Roberson — so close to Durant off the court the past two years — got right in his former teammate’s face. They exchanged a headbutt, a slight shove and some choice words.

A day of tension, in an arena full of emotion, had its hottest boiling point. In Durant’s hostile Oklahoma City homecoming, the Warriors’ big talent edge led them to a rather easy win: 130-114. But the relative lack of competitive drama didn’t mean a lack of drama.

“It’s part of the game and I respect that,” Durant said after the game. “We should have just kept playing. I don’t even think they should have reviewed anything. It’s a part of it. Hard fouls, (expletive) talking — all that stuff is just a part of the game. That’s what makes it fun for us.”

Durant strolled through the unfamiliar visitor’s tunnel about 90 minutes before tipoff on Saturday night. He walked through a packed, awaiting crowd, headphones on, drowning out the boos as he walked past a little girl dressed in a cupcake costume, a nod to Russell Westbrook’s not-so-subtle summer Instagram shot at Durant, hinting that the free agency move was soft.

Durant was booed loudly in pregame introductions and just as loudly every time he touched the ball in isolation. And he’d have it plenty. Steve Kerr set up the first Warriors possession for Durant. He nailed a 17-foot fadeaway.

The Thunder, though, jumped out to the early lead, channeling the crowd’s raucous energy into a strong start as the Warriors missed their first six 3s. Westbrook was subbed out late in the first quarter with the game tied. By the time he returned, the Warriors led by double digits, thanks to a lopsided stretch by Golden State’s second unit that provided the game’s separation.

From there, with the Warriors comfortably ahead throughout, the game morphed into a series of mini-dramas on sport’s biggest stage.

Westbrook got Durant in isolation midway through the second quarter. The crowd recognized it and erupted. Durant couldn’t contain a wry smile. Westbrook missed a fadeaway.

The two would meet up later in the game and it was a bit more contentious. After one of the Thunder’s mini runs, cutting the deficit from above 20 to slightly below, Steve Kerr called timeout. As Westbrook and Durant separated to opposing benches, Westbrook yelled at Durant: “I’m coming! I’m coming!”

Durant shrugged as he walked backward, telling Westbrook: “You’re gonna lose.” It was their longest, most direct contact since Durant left his former teammate and only NBA organization last July 4.

“I do think it doesn’t make sense,” Westbrook said after the game about how much attention is paid to his relationship with Durant. “It’s over with. He plays for his team, I play with my team. Let him do his thing, I do my thing, and that’s it, plain and simple.”

But this night, in many ways, was about the city meeting Durant for the first time, not the team who’d already gone face to face with him twice in Oakland.

The crowd came armed with cupcake signs and unloaded cupcake chants relentlessly, the first and loudest coming midway through the second quarter. Moments later, Durant was fouled and strolled to the free-throw line. The crowd rained down the boos. But as they did, Durant’s mother Wanda rose, her left hand on her heart and her right hand in the air.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.