Kevin Durant went for 42 points, Russell Westbrook put in 24 of his own and the Thunder survived a late Houston push to earn a hard-fought victory and stay within a game of the Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference. And it was a fight. Westbrook and Patrick Beverley — enemy No. 1 in OKC — got into it after Beverley went after the ball again just before Russ called timeout, the same situation that occurred last season when Westbrook tore his meniscus.
Needless to say there are bad memories there, and it understandably set Westbrook off. The incident set the tone for the rest of the night, too, and that wasn't it between the two point guards.
Here's the full rundown of the early events in the evening. Houston got 28 points from James Harden, but the typically explosive Rockets didn't give him enough help elsewhere. They shot just 42 percent from the floor against a Thunder defense that's been brutal as of late.
But Oklahoma City appeared to take this game personally from the get-go. Despite shooting just 41 percent on the night, they managed to stay in decent control of the game after establishing an early double-digit lead.