Thunder keep it loose as they roll the Grizzlies

OKLAHOMA CITY -- With a Euro step that might have spanned two continents, Russell Westbrook split a pair of defenders and flipped in a left-handed layup in the second quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder's 112-94 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

For good reason, Westbrook was feeling it. He popped his hands like he was dribbling, then raised them and hopped back and forth, replaying the filthy move. Then he did it again. Kevin Durant joined in, mimicking Westbrook's Euro step with him.

"I get lucky sometimes," Westbrook said of the move postgame.

Westbrook went aw-shucks with his description of the play, but as evidenced by his reaction to it, he knew what he did. It was sick, it was nasty and it was worth of replay, whether that be his own or the one SportsCenter is going to play all morning.

"We call it just 'swag-daddies,'" Cameron Payne said. "That was a great move. He just swagged it up."

"We got to sauce it up," Payne continued, rubbing his hands together. "All that. He's the king. You've seen him out there." Payne stopped and mimicked Westbrook's Euro step, before Westbrook walked by as he was leaving the locker room. "Look at the hat. It's just swag."

Westbrook, who was dressed postgame like the fourth "amigo" with a wood brim hat and a white and brown poncho-kind of thing, took plenty of jabbing from his teammates. Dion Waiters looked up from his locker and chuckled before complimenting Westbrook on his attire.

Durant first called Westbrook a "conquistador," but when asked how he would describe the look had to think for a second.

"It was uh, real, uh, wild, wild Western, I guess," said Durant, who was wearing his own Indiana Jones-style fedora. "I don't know if that's the right way to put it. It was a Russell Westbrook fit, I'll say that."

Though it might look like he sometimes picks out his clothes with a blindfold on, Westbrook knows what he's wearing. And he always owns it. It's part of the Westbrook brand. He might look ridiculous to you, but he's comfortable with what he has got on and, much like the way he plays, doesn't blink one bit at any comment or criticism. Here it is, this is him. Deal with it.

As he exited the locker room, Westbrook even made his own joke.

"I got a horse outside!" he yelled.

Winning is fun, and dominating is especially so. The Thunder were mostly in control from start to finish against Memphis, with Westbrook scoring 16 of his 20 in the first half, and Durant scoring 17 of his 26 in the second half after shaking off a 2-of-10 shooting start to hit seven of his last eight shots.

"I came back from halftime and told myself I had to focus on every shot because I missed so many early on, it could've been a 2-for-17 night for me," Durant said. "So I tried to turn it in to something good that second half."

Durant sat out the Thunder's game on Monday with a sprained toe, a disappointing loss at home to the Sacramento Kings, a game they would have won had he played, according to Durant.

"We didn't have our whole team against Sacramento," he said, "or we would've won that game."

The Thunder have been quietly hitting a stride in the last month and a half, finding their rhythm and confidence in Billy Donovan's system tweaks. With Durant, since he returned from a hamstring injury on Nov. 23, the Thunder are 17-4. And they're obliterating opponents when he's on the floor by some 15 points per 100 possessions. His absence was felt against the Kings, but the second it was official that he would be playing on Wednesday, the mood changed.

Westbrook had his move, and re-move. Later, center Steven Adams dished a nifty no-look pass and was clearly proud of it, prancing his way almost to half court after Andre Roberson threw down an and-1 dunk.

"Yeah, I enjoyed it a bit too much, honestly," Adams said. "I need to simmer down."

That's when the Thunder are at their best, when they're free and flowing, confident and loose. That's when they tap into their athleticism and talent -- and rev up their raucous home arena.

"We always have fun, no matter what," Durant told ESPN's Israel Gutierrez postgame. "I think that's what's good about our group: We're loose, but we're still locked in at the same time. We're happy for each other. We play around like that all the time, man, and to see guys go out and have fun, that's what it's all about."

Durant bristled a bit at a question following the win Wednesday about the team "struggling" against the Kings, rhetorically asking what their record is before noting that he didn't play. That might have been the only time all night he didn't have a smile on his face.