Welcome home, James Harden.
The Oklahoma City Thunder destroyed the Houston Rockets, 120-98 in a highly-anticipated game. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 37 points on 13-22 shooting while Kevin Martin added 17. For the Rockets, Patrick Patterson led all scorers with 27 points.
Let’s get right to it.
Harden got his nice standing ovation in starting lineups, and then everything pretty much went downhill for him. He got tangled up with Hasheem Thabeet, which then made Loud City boo Harden every time he went to the line. Either way, the bearded one had an awful night, shooting 3-16 from the field, with 17 points. Yes, 3 for 16.
Either way, I was going to compare Martin to Harden tonight. So here it is: Martin had 17 points tonight in 28 minutes and Harden had 17 points 39 minutes. So, I think it’s pretty clear that Martin won the battle last night.
Now, Harden is just another player on another team in this league.
“It feels good to compete against these guys and finally get it over with,” Harden said. “Now I can continue on with the season.”
Durant talked about Harden: “It was crazy. Seeing him before the game, in chapel, in a different uniform, it was a little different,” Durant said. “But we moved on past it man, happy to see him, glad he’s doing well out there in Houston. But we wanted this win bad for all those days in practice that him, Daequan and Eric Maynor beat the first group, I wanted this game real bad. It was a good win. Good to see him and good luck to him the rest of the way.”
The Thunder certainly appear like the team that got the better end of this blockbuster trade at this point, but it remains to be seen how Martin’s playoff performance with Oklahoma City will compare to Harden’s over the past couple of years. This will be a one-on-one comparison for years to come, so consider the score Martin 1, Harden 0.
Daequan Cook was wearing a red headband. I barley even recognized him.
Everything Harden put up in the early going was blocked.