Kendrick Perkins explains why the Thunder need technicals

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In Kendrick Perkins world, there are good technical fouls and bad technical fouls.

Bad ones? Taking too long to shoot a free throw then throwing the ball away from the refs. Especially when that gets you suspended.

Good technicals? Perkins has been T’d up five times since coming to the Thunder, and he told Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman why that is a good thing.

“It’s times that you can get a good tech,” Perkins explained. “You set the tone every now and then.”

Most of Perkins’ five technical fouls in a Thunder uniform have come from altercations with opposing players. Jawing. Pushing. Stare downs. That sort of stuff. But Perkins doesn’t think techs of that variety are a problem. In those situations, Perkins said he’s intentionally pushing other players’ buttons. He’s playing the role of the schoolyard bully, testing and taunting his competition to see how far they’ll allow him to go….

“I try to pick and choose (when talking to referees),” Perkins said. “Sometimes it may look like I’m attacking the ref or swearing or cursing at a ref but I’m not. Sometimes I’m just telling him to get his head in the game or something to that nature.

“As I got older, I developed good relationships with the guys so they know how I am and they have a higher tolerance for me. And I know how to approach them. I just pick and choose. Some days I try to get a tech. Other days, I just mess with them every now and then.”

Perkins was brought in to bring some toughness to the Thunder, to be fierce inside in a way the team had not been before. With that will come some technicals. Part of the price. Perkins is going to pay a few fines.

And when he does, his teammates should buy him dinner.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)