By Danny Dunn
Chants of “Cupcake!” were heard throughout the arena in Oklahoma city when Kevin Durant returned to his former arena. Durant had a bitter-sweet night in his first game back in Oklahoma, since signing with the Golden State Warriors this summer after leaving the Thunder. Durant scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Warriors past the Thunder 130-114.
The game began as you would expect, Thunder fans booed when the Warriors players were announced, a little extra when Durant’s name was announced.
The crowd was ready for this one, but not only with their noise level. A wide variety of fans showed up with homemade signs mocking Durant. There were many cupcake signs. Whether it was the actual word cupcake or just an image of one. The cupcake signs are supposed to indicate that Durant is ‘soft’ for leaving Oklahoma City.
The crowd kept this up throughout the 1st quarter whenever Durant would touch the ball. The crowd even took it a step further and gave Thunder guard Russell Westbrook roaring applause when had the ball.
Westbrook wound up with a solid stat line as usual this season, with 47 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. Going into tonight Westbrook averaged a triple-double, with over 10 rebounds and 10 assists per game, and a league leading 30.9 points per game.
Tensions did mount in the game, by the third quarter Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant exchanged some words going into a time out. It did not stop there, Thunder forward Andre Roberson and Durant got face to face, after Roberson fouled Durant and appeared to say something to him after the foul which lead to the face to face.
ESPN broadcaster Mike Breen commented on why people in Oklahoma City might be upset with Durant.
“Durant was not just the face of the franchise, he was the face of the of the city, and maybe even the state,” Breen said.
Breen’s broadcasting partner, and former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson had some words on returning home, at the end of the 1st half when the Warriors held a 20 point lead.
“Whoever said you can’t go home again, didn’t have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on their team,” Jackson said.