james harden

James Harden’s return to Oklahoma City was only a small part of an emotional day for the Houston Rockets.

Kevin Durant matched his season high with 37 points and the Thunder beat Houston 120-98 on Wednesday night, after the Rockets made a stop in Minnesota earlier in the day to attend the funeral of coach Kevin McHale’s daughter.

Harden scored 17 points, but was limited to 3-for-16 shooting. He had six shots blocked by the Thunder.

After a draining 24 hours, he was ready to put it behind him.

”It felt good just to be competing against those guys and finally get this over with, to play here and get it over with,” Harden said. ”Now, I can continue on with the season.”

Harden missed his first nine shots, and by the time he made one, the Rockets were down by double digits in the second half. They never got closer than 10 after that.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press