This year’s NBA postseason will be filled with many stories. One matchup that is sure to draw interest is Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
The game will feature former teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook meeting in the playoffs for the first time.
Durant and Westbrook’s history dates back to 2008, when they first teamed up in Oklahoma City. They would eventually spend eight seasons together with the Thunder and advanced to the NBA Finals in 2012.
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Before their on-court meeting, Westbrook made it clear that there are no issues between him and Durant.
«It’s going to be normal for me,» Westbrook said of what it’s going to be like facing his former Thunder teammate. «I think people still think there’s some meat or something. There’s no meat of any kind.» [kind]so I think that’s the good narrative for the media, for people to talk about.»
«But there are no issues. I have nothing but respect for him and the things that he’s done with his career and having to see him come back from injury. No issues at all. But he knows I’m going to compete, and I know he will. will do». to compete, and that’s it.»
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In 2016, Durant decided to leave the Thunder in favor of the Golden State Warriors. In 2019, the Thunder traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, where he joined forces with James Harden.
Westbrook and Durant have faced each other on the court 11 times since they parted ways. Westbrook’s teams hold a 6-5 advantage over Durant’s teams in regular season matchups.
The Clippers have benefited from signing Westbrook in the middle of the season and will need him on the court this weekend as they face the challenge of slowing down Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.
Westbrook seems excited to be on a team competing in the postseason. Last season, Westbrook missed the playoffs when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers.
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«Just his ability, he’s always been very efficient,» Westbrook said of Durant. «But I think the ability for him to be more efficient and still score the ball at a high rate…he’s probably one of the best scorers I’ve ever seen, he can just score easily and look effortless.»
«I think over the years, he’s figured out ways to score basketball at a very, very high rate, and that’s what I’ve seen over the years.»