Westbrook returns to OKC

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Chris Paul wore one of those wide-brimmed hipster fedoras in his postgame news conference after Oklahoma City defeated Brooklyn in overtime Tuesday.

Paul had just finished off the Nets with a game-high 28 points, including 23 in the second half, 16 in the fourth quarter and four in overtime. He dominated the final 17 minutes.

During his interview, he intermittently answered reporters’ questions and exchanged playful banter with teammates Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Steven Adams.

Paul was in a joyful mood and why not? The Thunder are 21-16, have an unexpected lockdown on a playoff spot and since Thanksgiving, they have the NBA Western Conference’s best record at 15-5.

Is Chris Paul happier in Oklahoma City than he was last season in Houston? Who knows.

Do the Thunder play with a spirit that is much more palatable with Paul rather than Russell Westbrook? Seems so.

And with Westbrook returning to Oklahoma City as a Rocket on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT) for the first time since the teams swapped All-Star guards in July, other questions arise. Are the Thunder better off with Paul and are the Rockets any better with Westbrook?

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