Durant, Westbrook throw light on on-court exchange

Former team-mate Durant and Westbrook explain their on-court exchange during an NBA match between Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.

According to Kevin Durant, their interaction was not a big deal. Photo: AP

The Thunder walked away with a 108-91 win over the Warriors Wednesday night, but it wasn't before Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant went head-to-head in a heated scuffle during the third quarter. 

Tensions were certainly high between the two, but according to Durant, their interaction was not a big deal. Instead, he said, "that's just ball."

"He's a competitor, I'm a competitor. We like to go at it, both of us, and that's just part of the game, so I respect it," Durant said after the game. "I've got nothing but love for it. I'm expecting it again when we play 'em again, but it's all fun and games."

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The heated exchange happened when the Warriors were trailing 73-56 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter. Westbrook knocked the ball out of bounds while Durant was dribbling up the court and after the play, the two exchanged words. Both Westbrook and Durant were given a technical foul after being separated by team-mates and officials. 

"I play the same way every night," Westbrook said. "It don't matter who it is. On the court, I don't got no friends. Only friend I have is the basketball, that's it. And obviously my teammates. But I go out and compete, I go out and play at a high level. Like I've been saying since day one, and that's what I do."

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This is not the first time Westbrook and Durant have had a heated exchange on the court. They were team-mates in Oklahoma City but have not spoken since the summer of 2016, when Durant left for the Warriors. Despite all of the tension between these two former team-mates, Durant reminded reporters that it should be about the game, not about their scuffle. 

"The story is about the game," Durant said. "We lost, they kicked our a—, they played a great game. You should give them credit for how they played, and we should be better. It's not about who was in each other's faces. That stuff is not real. So please don't believe it. All the fans, they lying to y'all. It's about basketball, and they played a great game and we didn't."