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Blog Entry

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:59 am
 
Posted by Royce Young



OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook had them chanting his name. For about three minutes, he owned Oklahoma City. Chesapeake Energy Arena was all his.

And then Kevin Durant stole his Thunder.

Durant hit a game-winning 3 at the buzzer to lift the Thunder over the Mavericks, 104-102. And while it was a big shot that kept the Thunder undefeated at 4-0, it was also something symbolic for the team.

"I just tried to shoot a good one," Durant said. "I'm just glad I made it, man. I'm glad I made it."

The young Thunder had to endure a tough day of answering questions and hearing about how their two best players reportedly hate each other (or something like that). And with Westbrook struggling again, it looked like we might be headed for another ugly night. But Westbrook bounced back, hitting three of his last four shots and scoring seven of the Thunder's last 12. His first, a breakway and-1 dunk, had the crowd calling his name.

"RUSS-ELL! RUSS-ELL! RUSS-ELL!"

There was a reason for it. These Oklahomans aren't stupid. They know what was going on. A night before, Westbrook went 0-13 from the floor and had a reported altercation with Durant. And he was again stuck in a rut, laboring through another tough night starting 3-9. You could Westbrook was feeling it. He wasn't himself. He wasn't playing with that normal burst of energy or emotion. But the crowd lifted him.

"I've never seen in my 20 years with the NBA what the crowd did tonight," head coach Scott Brooks said. "They knew he was struggling. They watched our game last night and he struggled. When he made the layup and the free throw and the crowd started chanting his name out, that was special. This is a special place to play. I've never seen it before."

Said Westbrook:"It's amazing what these fans would do for you. I love this city, I love my teammates. I'm just thankful."

Said Durant: "The crowd was unbelievable tonight encouraging him and I think that gave him some extra push. We can only do so much. We're always on top of him encouraging but the fans for the fans to do that meant a lot and he hit some big shots ... That shows how much they follow us out there. For them to encourage him like that was beautiful to see. I'm glad he was able to carry us in the last few minutes of the fourth and lead us to a good win."

But all of that quickly became background noise because of what Durant did. With 1.4 seconds left and OKC suddenly down a point because of a Vince Carter go-ahead 3, Durant caught a pass from Thabo Sefolosha and in his beautiful, gliding way, launched a deep 3 that hit nothing but the bottom.

"He lives for shots like that," Westbrook said. "He has come a long way and I am really happy for him."

Which seems like it might be a thing Westbrook would say through gritted teeth. For a second, he was the Thunder's man. So many times last season, Westbrook carried the Thunder. And not only was he doing it against OKC's nemesis in Dallas, but he was producing quite the story. It was quite the bounce back, what, with the crowd chanting his name and such.

But like a slap in the face, he was placed right back in his role. He was humbled once again by the Thunder's alpha dog. Maybe that's going to bother him tonight when he goes to sleep, maybe not. All Westbrook would say after the game was he was happy to win. Short, and to the point, is Russell Westbrook.

Oklahoma City is still in its growing pains as a young team. The supposed tension between Westbrook and Durant made the game against Dallas something of a game within a game. How would they handle it? How would they respond? And it was against the Mavs nonetheless, a team that's been known to play with the Thunder's emotions.

With the Thunder's elevated exposure comes all the outside noise that hit the Thunder over the last 24 hours. But nothing shuts it up quite like the sound of a 25-footer swishing through the net as the horn sounds.
Comments

Since: Jan 20, 2010
Posted on: December 30, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

Are you kidding me?

Everyone is entitled to his opinion, and Mr. Young, if the goal of this article was to flame-bait, consider yourself successful.

But, my goodness, this is pitiful. Why do sports writers at ESPN and CBSSports insist on trying to create a feud between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook?

Either the media is severely out of touch (wouldn't be the first time) or they are trying to make something out of nothing, which is not what the media is supposed to do.

There is no feud ongoing between Durant and Westbrook.

What an absolutele idiotic column this is.


These comments are right on point, I am a Laker fan, and stuff like this could create a rift between them. I don't know why anyone would want a player of Russell's caliber to not try to be the best that he can be. The Kobe, and Shaq fiasco started this way, even though I think Durant and Westbrook at least like each other, but keep telling a player he's number two all the time will only make matters worse for the team. Why is it when a team has two talented players people want to establish pecking orders?    



Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: December 30, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Mr Young, you should be embarrassed

Royce Young, Shame on you.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

This is such a terrible, judgmental article. The worst part about it all? Royce Young writes in the dailythunder.com. Just look at the other article he wrote today. Mentions Westbrook only once and it's in a negative way. I don't think Royce Young cares about the team he's paid to write for. http://www.dailythunder.com/2011/12

/those-old-thunder-crunchtime-issue

s/#more-17999



Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

Horribly bad article, trying to make something out of nothing.  It's nothing to do with stealing thunder moron, it's simply the right man taking the shot.  You don't tell Durant to go sitback and let someone else take the shot when you know Durants capabilities. 



Since: Dec 22, 2010
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

I think i am done with CBS i am tired of reading these retarded articles. and these retarded overpaid morons like Pete prisco and Royce young.



Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: December 30, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

People talk so much about players selfishly ditching their teams but is it a problem with the NBA or the society? Why are kids like Durant 1 in a million? All the talent in the world and none of the big mouthed BS to go along with it. Have a ton of respect for this guy, OKC's lucky to have a star like him playing on their team, prime example of how the NBA's not the problem here.



Since: Oct 24, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

Watch Russel Westbrook sprint up the court and the first person to congratulate Durant.  I'm so tired of hearing this, they are two great players on the same team.  Westbrook is the point guard of the team, Durant is the best player in the league.  The media is just trying to stir things up here instead of recognizing the greatness of this tandem.



Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

this site is turning into a joke.



Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

This crap psses for news...I live  long way from Okla but that team is a breath of fresh air((in the NBA) ..Don't try to stir anything up..Shame on you.....



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Durant steals Westbrook's thunder again

And then stole his .



Ridiculous article, this wasn't about Durant vs. Westbrook - it was the fans supporting one of their players who was struggling...The story should be that Kevin Durant shows again why he's probably the best player in the NBA...


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com