Five moments that have turned Thunder vs. Rockets into a great NBA rivalry
In this first-round series between the Thunder and the Rockets, Russell Westbrook and James Harden aren't the only ones who've hit high notes. There have been some serious hits between these two franchises over the years, too.
Here's a look at five moments that shaped a robust history:
Oct. 27, 2012: The Harden Trade
Thunder fans didn't come to hate the Rockets because they were the ones who landed Harden, but seeing The Beard in Rocket red still sticks in the craw of many loyal to Thunder blue.
April 24, 2013: The Play
Patrick Beverley became Public Enemy No. 1 -- a title only recently relinquished -- when he charged at Westbrook during a first-round playoff game, smacking their knees together, tearing the Thunder guard's meniscus and killing the team's playoff hopes.
June 27, 2013: The Tweet
Not long after the Thunder drafted Steven Adams, a pick that came to the team as part of the Harden trade, Harden tweeted "Steven Adams loooooooooooooooool." Harden later tweeted, "I don't know what's going on, but I haven't been on Twitter," which is almost as laugh-out-loud hilarious as he thought the draft pick was.
Various dates: On-Court Contention
Since The Play, the two teams have had numerous physical and verbal altercations during games. Westbrook and Beverley have gotten into it numerous times, but the contention has been so far-reaching that mild-mannered Scott Brooks, the Thunder's former coach, even got pulled into the vortex.
April 2017: The Shade
Harden and Houston general manager Daryl Morey threw a few not-so-subtle barbs at Westbrook and his MVP candidacy. Both linking the award and winning, which has been a main crux of Harden's MVP campaign.