It’s always interesting to see how a returning star is going to be treated when they come back to the place they just left. For some, boos are imminent each time they touch the ball. For others, like Kawhi Leonard was in Toronto, they are appreciated. Russell Westbrook is another name that can be added to the list of the ‘appreciated’ as evidenced on Thursday night as his Houston Rockets traveled to face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Unfortunately for him, the warm embrace was about all he got on the positive end of it, as his team was thoroughly outplayed, losing 113-92. He did play well, putting up 34 points to lead all scorers, but the night saw another former OKC player- James Harden- play one of his worst games of the season. He scored just 17 points, about half as much as he seemingly scores every time he takes to the court, and that set them up for a night of struggles. The Thunder got 23 from Danilo Gallinari, while 20 points came from the yet-again-impressive Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. At 22-16, the Thunder are a lot better than many think they are, so perhaps this shouldn’t be quite as big of a ‘shock’ to some.