OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Maybe being dunked on and stared down did it.
Kevin Durant found some extra fire after Jerami Grant slammed one home right over him and his old teammates started talking.
Durant matched his career high with seven 3-pointers and scored 39 points, coolly knocking down long jumpers while thoroughly embarrassing Russell Westbrook and the rest of his old Oklahoma City teammates in Golden State’s 122-96 rout of the Thunder on Thursday night.
”When you get dunked on like that, as a competitor out there you want to come back and try to make a play and try to ignite your team,” Durant said. ”He ignited his team with that dunk. I was just trying to do the same throughout the whole game.”
This rematch of the Western Conference finals won by the Warriors in seven games quickly turned into the KD show at sold-out Oracle Arena, where OKC (4-1) took its first loss to leave LeBron James and the champion Cavaliers as the NBA’s lone unbeaten team.
So much for this one being just like any other game for Durant. Even he knew it would certainly mean more once the ball was tipped, a matchup circled on calendars everywhere from the moment he left the Thunder as a free agent and joined the Warriors in July.
”As soon as the game started it brought back some memories, but after that it was back to business,” Durant said.
Westbrook was held to 20 points after coming in as the league’s leading scorer at 37.8 per game.
Stephen Curry added 21 points and seven assists, while Klay Thompson emerged from his 3-point funk to make four from long range on the way to 18 points in the Warriors’ fourth straight win.
But this one was all about Durant on a night when No. 35 and his new teammates redeemed themselves after a 129-100 flop in their season opener Oct. 25 against San Antonio that sent fans for the exits with more than 5 minutes left.
When KD sat down for good with 6:41 to play, he received a rousing ovation and fans began chanting ”K-D!”
Durant dunked to end the third quarter and pumped his arms and shook his head. He repeatedly pointed to the roof and roared in celebration to punctuate big plays – and, wow, did he have his share of them in this first, fabulous, hyped-up reunion with his former OKC boys.
Consecutive 3s before the half, baskets off rebounds, altering shots with that superior wingspan, KD flat out did it all. He shot 15 for 24, including 7 of 11 from deep, in his third 30-point performance, and had seven rebounds and a block.
Westbrook had put up triple-doubles in two of his previous three games, with a 35-point outing in Wednesday’s win at the Clippers. But he didn’t have it the very next night, going 4 for 15 with 10 points coming on free throws to go with 10 assists and six rebounds.
”The Warriors are doing a lot of trash talking,” Westbrook said. ”Apparently I guess they talk a lot of trash now, but we’ll see how that goes.”
Victor Oladipo led Oklahoma City with 21 points.
Thunder: The team missed a chance to match the best start of the Oklahoma City era at 5-0, accomplished in 2011-12. … OKC played its first of 14 sets on consecutive nights.
Warriors: Durant’s 69 straight games scoring 20 or more points are the most since Michael Jordan did so from Nov. 24, 1990, to April 19, 1991. … Free agent relief pitcher Sergio Romo, a San Francisco Giants reliever since 2008, tossed towels during timeouts. … Warriors defensive guru Ron Adams, with 22 years as an NBA assistant, was inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. He coached Fresno State and alma mater Fresno Pacific.
FACING FORMER TEAM
Durant’s 39 points matched the most by a player facing his former team for the first time. Danny Ainge and Stephon Marbury also did it.
KERR GOES OFF
An infuriated coach Steve Kerr had to be held back by Warriors assistant Mike Brown when no foul was called on a 3-point attempt by Curry at the 8:34 mark of the first quarter.
”Steph got mauled,” he said.
Thunder: Host Minnesota on Saturday to begin five straight home games and eight of nine.
Warriors: Visit the Lakers on Friday to face former top assistant Luke Walton for the first time since he became L.A.’s new coach.