With 5:47 left in the third quarter, Utah forward DeMarre Carroll was called for a Flagrant Foul I when he fouled Durant on the way to the basket. It was a foul very similar to the Flagrant Foul I that Durant had received in Utah last month.
Westbrook received a technical foul when he immediately stepped in and verbally confronted Carroll.
“I was just trying to get my teammate away from it all,” Durant said of the play. “I seen Russ over there by himself, so that was the first thing I was concerned with. It was a hard foul, that's it. I did the same thing to one of their guys in Utah, so I couldn't be too upset about it. I just went over there to get Russell. I saw him in a sea of blue of Utah guys so I just tried to get him out of there because I knew he came to my rescue.
“Ain't nobody going to fight out there, first off. It wasn't that hard a foul. Glad I was able to get two free throws out of it.”
This one wasn't pretty from start to finish.
OKC had six turnovers in its first 12 possessions and finished with 25. Utah had 20 turnovers, which the Thunder turned into 25 points.
There were 52 fouls, five technical fouls and 66 free throws attempted – 33 by each team.
Utah scored nine points in the second quarter, the fewest points allowed for a quarter in Thunder history.
OKC's biggest lead was 32.
Signs spotted in the crowd:
“Westbrook Will You Marry My Mom” – held up by a little girl
“Oklahoma Welcomes Pope Francis”
The Thunder is now 14-3 after a loss this season and 49-12 (.803) after a loss in the last three seasons, which surpasses Chicago (50-13) for the NBA's best bounce-back record in that time span.
BY JOHN ROHDE