Oklahoma City Thunder scored a huge victory over Houston Rockets on Thursday night (Friday IST). While the game itself was a big clash between the two Western Conference rivals, the pre-game contest was hyped for the return of their former player Russell Westbrook to the city. Westbrook played 11 seasons with OKC before moving to Houston to link-up with James Harden.
Houston Rockets parted ways with Chris Paul and reported two protected first-round picks to sign Russell Westbrook. The two faced off against each other October when OKC visited Texas. Houston Rockets emerged victorious in that tie winning 116-112, Russell Westbrook starred in that game with a triple-double.
Speaking to TNT ahead of their tie on Thursday, Chris Paul admitted that he hoped the fans at the Chesapeake Energy Arena would cheer for Westbrook. Despite being traded off by the Rockets, Paul remained respectful of his former side. Paul, however, warned the Rockets that once the whistle blows, Thunder would only go for the win.
I hope they cheer loud, but once that ball goes up, it’s game time.” - Chris Paul on Russell Westbrook's return
On Thursday night (Friday morning IST), Russell Westbrook produced another stellar showing dropping 34 points (game-high) against OKC. However, his former side emerged victorious in the crunch game. Thunder beat Rockets 113-92. Chris Paul produced a decent performance registering 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Houston Rockets remain 3rd in the Western Conference after falling to their 11 defeat of the campaign. Meanwhile, Thunder jump to 7th with a 21-16 win-loss record. Rockets will face the Minnesota Timberwolves next while, OKC will host the LA Lakers on Sunday.