Kevin Durant Comments on Emotions Facing Oklahoma City Thunder

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 3:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 3, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Emotions ran high during Kevin Durant's first game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 3, and the Golden State Warriors forward acknowledged Tuesday that showdowns against his former team will always hold extra meaning.

"It's never going to be a regular game for me," Durant told ESPN.com's Chris Haynes. "I'm just going to play. There's nothing serious. We got the first one out the way, and we're just going to play the next game."

The Warriors throttled the Thunder 122-96 in their first meeting at Oracle Arena, and Durant didn't appear to let the gravity of the moment weigh on him. He shredded his former teammates from all over the floor, dropping a game-high 39 points.

Durant will be looking to replicate that performance Wednesday when the Warriors host the Thunder for the second and final time this season.

"I'm sure it will [be emotional]," Durant said, per Haynes. "It's people I've been with for so long, and to see them again, yeah, [there will] be some emotions. But I've still got a job to do."

The last time Golden State met Oklahoma City, tensions appeared to crescendo when Durant and Thunder big man Enes Kanter started jawing with the Warriors up big late in the second quarter:

"I know those guys over there; they know me," Durant said after the game, per the Mercury News' Tim Kawakami. "Trash-talking is a part of it. Anybody that's seen me play or that's close to me or out on the court, they know what it is. As long as we're in between the lines, everything's good with me."

And while Oklahoma City will undoubtedly be looking to even the score Wednesday night, that figures to be a tall task with Golden State in the midst of a four-game winning streak that includes a 35-point drubbing of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

But even if the Thunder fall short, they'll have two more chances to even the score with Durant when the Warriors make a pair of trips to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Feb. 11 and March 20, in front of what figure to be raucous and hostile crowds.


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