Some people in Oklahoma City blamed Kendrick Perkins for the fall of the Thunder in the conference finals to Dallas. Those people are wrong. Perkins was not causing Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant to miss shots at the end of games. Jeff Green would not have saved them (people continue to overvalue him).
Perkins was brought in to deal with the size of the Los Angeles Lakers. Then Dallas removed that obstacle from the path.
Sam Presti sat Kendrick Perkins down for his exit interview on Thursday and showed the center clips of his old self before he busted up both of his knees. The footage was incredible….
“He just told me that we’re going to get you back to that point and even better,” Perkins said.
That’s become the main offseason goal for Perkins, the Thunder’s 6-foot-10 center who became a polarizing player in Oklahoma City following the mid-season trade that shipped Jeff Green to Boston.
Perkins blew out his right ACL in the NBA finals last season with Boston, came back from that in January but sprained his knee again before being traded to Oklahoma City. He has not been right all season. Combine that with the bad matchups in the playoffs and he could not bring what the Thunder needed.
The Thunder need him to be right and to bring some rebounding and toughness inside if they as a team are going to take another step forward next season. He is a good fit, he can bring the defensive presence they need. The attitude they need.
But he has to get healthy first.
John Wall goes coast-to-coast, behind-the-back for lefty dunk (VIDEO)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) —Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.
The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.
Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.
The Warriors took a 108-100 lead after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk with 4:05 to go.
Noah Vonleh‘s dunk got Portland within four at 110-106 with 1:29 left, but Curry answered with a 3-pointer that all but sealed it, sending fans streaming for the exits.
Paul Millsap had 29 points, pulled down 14 boards, got to the line 11 times, and led the Hawks to the win. He got the calls he wanted this game, but Washington’s Markieff Morris was not exactly down with high praise for Millsap.
The key line here: “”He just did more for his team. He’s a crybaby. Get all the calls and you a crybaby.”
Millsap was asked about that comment in his postgame presser — and the best part may be Dennis Schroeder’s reaction.
“It definitely got personal now, yes. I mean, I don’t care. So what? He can take his loss and go back to the hotel and be ready for the next game.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 16 consecutive points for the Spurs down the stretch of regulation to force overtime, then in OT hit a corner three with 7.2 seconds left to tie the game at 108-108. Leonard finished the game with a career playoff high of 43 points.
It wasn’t enough. Because in those final seconds Marc Gasol did this.
The 110-108 Memphis win ties the series at 2-2 as it heads back to San Antonio for Game 5. I might not want to sit next to Gregg Popovich on the flight home.
While Gasol hit the big shot, he never gets the chance if Mike Conley isn’t every kind of amazing through the clutch parts of this game. Conley finished with 35 points, and that includes a floater in the lane that forced OT (although Leonard got a pretty good look to end it in regulation and just missed). I’m surprised the Spurs switched on the pseudo pick on this play.
The Spurs struggled to get stops down the stretch, mostly because they had David Lee and Tony Parker both on the floor and Memphis did a good job getting switches onto those defenders. Spurs starting center and best defensive big Dewayne Dedmon missed the game due to an illness, and that ended up mattering.