When he checked into the game for the first time, marking the first time he's played in Houston since being traded for James Harden, guard Kevin Martin received scattered boos from Rockets fans.
The Thunder's sixth man then responded by knocking down his first two shots, both 3-pointers, before scoring 19 points on 6-for-14 shooting in 24 minutes off the bench in Saturday's 124-94 win.
Though it was unclear why Martin was subject to such a reaction, he said his return to the Toyota Center was no big deal.
“It's not really on the same level as James (returning to Oklahoma City) because I was only here for a couple of years,” Martin said. “It's more like Sacramento would be it for me. That's where my emotional attachment is. But it's always good just to come back here and play in front of people that supported you the past couple of years.”
One reason Martin didn't feel much of an emotional pull is because the Rockets have gone through an extreme makeover since Martin played in Houston. Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson are the lone players remaining from Martin's final year last season. And Patterson spent much of his time in the D-League.
But Martin did say he still felt comfortable inside the Toyota Center, perhaps explaining how he got off to such a hot start.
“I had a lot of big nights in here,” Martin said, laughing.
DURANT, PERKINS HONOR GUTHRIE-AREA 3-YEAR-OLD
Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins both penned messages on their game shoes Saturday night to honor a Guthrie-area 3-year-old who accidentally shot and killed himself.
The Thunder players inscribed “RIP Ryder Rozier's” and “12-15-12,” the date of his death on their shoes.
BROOKS CLEARS UP TRADE COMMENTS
Back in November, when Harden returned to Oklahoma City for his first game against the Thunder, coach Scott Brooks said the game was personal because the Rockets traded him years ago and it took him a while to get over it.
Before Saturday's game at Houston, Brooks felt the need to clear the air.
“When I said that, it was really a joke,” Brooks said. “But a lot of people didn't take it as a joke. It was nothing personal at all. I was joking because James Harden was the trade. But it was so long ago. I loved it here. This is a great city. Friendly people. I loved living here. I loved coach Rudy (Tomjanovich). The second (championship) run, would I have loved to be a part of it? Absolutely.”
Former Thunder center Cole Aldrich checked in with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter. He went scoreless with three fouls in eight minutes … Nick Collison recorded his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes Saturday … The Thunder moved to 12-0 when five players score at least 10 points … OKC had a season-high 16 steals against the Rockets.