Now teammates with the Brooklyn Nets, the duo took on their former team for the first time at the Paycom Center on Sunday. It marked the first time the duo squared off against the Thunder while playing for the same team since Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012.
Durant spoke about the emotional return for him and Harden to Oklahoma, albeit as teammates with a different team, after the game. He expressed how proud he is to have left behind a legacy with the OKC Thunder. Here’s what he said:
“Yeah, seeing that tweet before the game, it’s crazy how stuff happens. Never thought when James got traded, I didn’t know what the future would hold. And for us to come back around on the same team as we got older is pretty sweet.”
“Coming here and (getting) the love that we got from the fans, you just know that we put in a lot of work here. We helped build this thing.”
The duo was instrumental in helping the OKC Thunder reach the NBA Finals in 2012. They defeated teams like the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and the LA Lakers to win the Western Conference that year. The Thunder, unfortunately, could not get past LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the finals.
Kevin Durant and James Harden won their first individual accolades in the NBA while playing for the OKC Thunder. The former won the MVP award in 2014, while Harden claimed the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012.
Harden left the Thunder in 2012, and joined the Houston Rockets via trade. Meanwhile, Durant departed the team in 2016, and joined the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Durant and James Harden shine as Brooklyn Nets decimate OKC Thunder
Kevin Durant and James Harden turned back the clock with terrific individual performances against the OKC Thunder on Sunday. Durant dropped 33 points and claimed eight boards, while Harden recorded 16 points and 13 assists to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 120-96 blowout win on the night.
The Nets are 10-4 this campaign, and sit second in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Durant is having an MVP-caliber season, averaging 29.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. The forward is shooting a career-best 58.6% from the field as well.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
Meanwhile, James Harden has struggled to get going this season. He is only averaging 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 9.3 assists per contest. Nevertheless, the guard has started to find his groove in the last few games, so it won’t be too long before he returns to his absolute best.