He had three of the latter, one in the face of Jones, one that caused Harden to sidestep at the last second and one with Howard in the vicinity. On the last sequence, Durant again had some choice words for the Rockets, this time he directed it at their prized center.
“He feel like he got to come and set the tone, and he doing that,” said Kendrick Perkins. “I’m liking the mean KD; giving stare downs when he’s dunking on people. I’m rolling with that.”
Of course Perk would.
Durant, meanwhile, is too politically correct to speak on it publicly, and so he downplayed the source of his efforts after the game. But all throughout the summer, when Houston commanded the league’s attention with its blockbuster acquisition of Howard and caused many to wonder whether the Rockets had surpassed the Thunder, Durant grew testy each time the topic was brought up. The focus, Durant always said, should be on the Thunder. That’s the way he wanted to keep it.
With Sunday’s performance, Durant did his part to make sure it stayed that way.
But remember the gear he got to and stayed at against these reloaded Rockets.
Nothing else we’ve seen provides more reason to believe the Thunder could be just fine for as long as it must be without Westbrook.