Sunday and Monday was an odd back-to-back for former Thunder reserve center Cole Aldrich.
His first stop was at Houston, where Aldrich was traded to Oct. 27 along with former OKC teammates James Harden, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and one second-round pick.
On Feb. 20, the Rockets traded Aldrich, Toney Douglas and Patrick Patterson to the Sacramento Kings for Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt and Thomas Robinson, who was Aldrich's former teammate at Kansas.
Aldrich's second stop was in OKC to face the team that worked a trade to acquire him in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Aldrich entered Monday's game with 9:49 left in the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena and received a warm round of applause. He had 12 points and 13 rebounds in just 23 minutes in the Kings' 104-95 loss to the Thunder.
“These fans are great,” Aldrich said. “I love Oklahoma City. It's where I started my career, and I'll always have that soft spot for it.”
Asked if he left anything back in OKC, Aldrich smiled and said: “Just a bunch of friends. I still talk to all the guys on the team. I'm still part of the extended family.”
Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins was facing a one-game suspension heading into Monday night's game against the Thunder.
If that sounds familiar, it should. The mercurial Cousins was in the exact same predicament last April when he was about to play in OKC on the next-to-last game of the season.
On both occasions, Cousin's most recent technical was rescinded and he was allowed to play. He finished with seven points, six rebounds and five turnovers and zero technicals in 25 minutes.
A player serves a one-game suspension when he gets his 16th technical of the regular season. In last year's lockout-shortened season, the limit was prorated to 13.
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was ejected from Monday's game with 2:28 remaining when he got his second technical foul. It was the first career ejection for Westbrook, who now has 15 technicals this season with one game left.
Starting center Kendrick Perkins (right hamstring tightness), Martin (lower back spasms) and reserve guard Derek Fisher (sore left foot) sat out for the Thunder, who recalled Lamb, forward Perry Jones III and center Daniel Orton from the Tulsa 66ers earlier Monday.
Orton played 21½ minutes and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Lamb had eight points, all in the fourth quarter.
FACE TO FACE
Westbrook will appear on the Face to Face series with Hannah Storm that debuts Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
Storm visits with Westbrook in the supposedly haunted Skirvin Hotel to learn more about his unique fashion sense, his emotional style of play and his relationship with teammate Kevin Durant.
Storm also interviewed elite point guards Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Kyrie Irving.
In advance of the special, Storm will take questions from fans and viewers during a 30-minute live Twitter chat on Wednesday at 10 a.m. using the hashtag #HannahFacetoFace.
Aldrich, who was traded twice in less than four months this season, is about to become an unrestricted free agent: “I may be in four cities next season. Who knows?”
BY JOHN ROHDE