Grudge Match Part 2: Russell Westbrook Vs. Kevin Durant

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 5:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 5:10 PM UTC

Not sure if you heard, but Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for Golden State in free agency this past offseason. That wrecked his friendship with former Thunder superstar teammate Russell Westbrook. Those two meet for the second time as opponents Wednesday.

Could this be a bit of a letdown game for the Warriors from an NBA betting  perspective? They were totally fired up to face the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night and end a four-game losing streak to LeBron James & Co. dating to last season's NBA Finals. The Dubs did so in spectacular fashion, winning 126-91. Cavs players headed for the tunnel before the final buzzer even sounded.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points, Kevin Durant had 21, Steph Curry 20, Draymond Green a triple-double and a flagrant foul on James -- although in all truthfulness LeBron flopped on the play. James had six turnovers, two assists and the second-worst plus-minus of his career (minus-32). The Warriors scored 34 fast-break points in the first half alone, tying their season-high for fast-break points in a game.

The Warriors' 35-point victory tied for the largest regular-season margin of victory by the Finals runner-up over the NBA champion in the following season in league history. It was an impressive victory, but I wouldn't read too much into it. Last regular season, the Warriors destroyed the Cavs in Cleveland and we all know what happened in the Finals.

Oklahoma City comes off a 120-98 blowout loss at the Clippers on Monday. Westbrook was just 7-for-19 from the field for 24 points to go with five rebounds and four assists and didn't play the fourth quarter. He remains with 20 triple-doubles, the most in the NBA and already more than he had all of last season. OKC played the Clippers without center Steven Adams due to a concussion and he's in doubt for Wednesday.

Westbrook is averaging 30.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.3 assists. He is the second player in NBA history (Oscar Robertson) to average 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 10+ assists through the first 40+ games of a NBA season. Only Westbrook, the Big O (five times) and Wilt Chamberlain (twice) have reached 20 triple-doubles in a season.

The Warriors are opening 12.5-point favorites on NBA odds for Wednesday's game vs. Oklahoma City on ESPN. Durant got the best of Westbrook in the first meeting as the Warriors rolled at home 122-96 on Nov. 3. OKC was playing the second of a back-to-back that night. Durant had 39 points and seven rebounds, while Westbrook was 4-for-15 shooting for 20 points along with 10 assists, six rebounds and six turnovers.

Golden State has won the past six home meetings vs. the Thunder, who have failed to cover their past four on NBA picks in Oakland. Oklahoma City is 6-1 ATS in its past seven after a loss, however.

comment here