Fans and the Thunder organization had nothing but love Thursday night for Russell Westbrook, in his first game back in OKC since being traded last summer.
Westbrook scored a game-high 34 points, but his Houston Rockets fell 113-92.
“I felt like I was home,” Russ told reporters, adding that he has zero regrets about his 11 memorable years in OKC.
“I felt like I was home,” Westbrook said. “Plain and smile. I didn’t get this feeling like it was weird. It’s just I felt like I was playing, back at Chesapeake. Like a normal game for me, honestly. Not a normal night, but me personally, once I got on the floor, that’s how I feel.”
The final was 113-92. Everyone was reminded that Westbrook will forever be loved — although a Thunder-Rockets playoff series could test the resolve of even the most ardent Russ fan — and this Thunder squad is winning fans of its own.
“Obviously, we got smacked,” [James] Harden said. “But it was a dope environment. Oklahoma City, as usual, showed mad love to Russell and everything he’s done for those 11 years he was here. Obviously, an unbelievable fan base, and it was just a beautiful thing to see.”
Westbrook was the last remaining player from the team that began playing in Oklahoma City in 2008 after the franchise left Seattle.
“I don’t regret one thing being here in Oklahoma City,” he said. “I don’t regret signing back, I don’t regret staying here. I don’t regret anything that I did here. I feel like I left everything out on the floor every single night and did what I could for the city.”