With 1:40 left in the Thunder's 99-82 victory at home over Charlotte on Friday night, All-Star forward Kevin Durant suffered a bruised left shoulder injury and was taken to the locker room.
Durant was injured by an inadvertent elbow while playing defense and fighting through a screen.
“It was a quick stinger,” Durant said afterward. “They're being cautious. That's why they took me to the back, but I'm all right.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the injury will be re-examined before Saturday morning's light practice session. OKC hosts Toronto on Sunday at 6 p.m.
*The NBA's single-season free-throw shooting percentage record of .832 appears to be safe. After a sizzling start that saw the Thunder shooting a ridiculous .870-plus after the first dozen games, OKC is now holding steady at .826.
The Thunder, which shot just .727 (16 for 22) against Charlotte, essentially is a lock to lead the league this season. New York is second at .808. However, the Boston Celtics' record-setting clip of 1989-90 seems to be out of reach.
*Durant and fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook shot a combined 3 for 13 in the first half while their teammates shot 15 for 20. In the second half, Durant and Westbrook shot a combined 12 for 19 and scored 33 points, which helps explain why OKC outscored the Bobcats 54-39 after intermission.
*No doubt Kendrick Perkins is a superb defensive presence, but it took 2½ games for him to get his first blocked shot with the Thunder. It came at the 10:52 mark of the third quarter against D.J. Augustin.
*Former Thunder forward D.J. White received a nice ovation when he entered the game early in the second quarter. He finished with nine points and four rebounds in 12 minutes.
*When White played defense, he often would motion to teammates where the Thunder's play was heading. Always helpful to know the other team's playbook.
*Charlotte arrived in town Thursday, which gave White an opportunity to finally gather some clothes to take back to his new home. White was traded while on a road trip and hadn't returned to OKC since.
“It's part of the business. It happens to everybody at some point,” White said. “I have to take it as it is and keep moving.”
*The Thunder raised $10,500 for the Red Cross and Oklahoma City wildfire relief with an auction/raffle.
THE PERKINS POLICE
Midway though the third quarter, Augustin blew past Westbrook for an easy layup. An angry Perkins quickly showed his extreme displeasure with a scowl and some choice words for Westbrook before running downcourt.
Therein lies one of Perkins' best attributes — fear. You don't want to make him angry, even a teammate.
In the fourth quarter, all appeared to be forgiven. Perkins and Westbrook communicated frequently before setting up offensive plays.
Brooks has no objection to the 6-foot-10, 285-pound Perkins playing team cop.
“All good teams are policed by one another,” Brooks said. “You have a standard that we set in place, and we don't want it to go below that. If it does, it has to be addressed. It's always good to have players do that. It can't always be from me. It's also important the players understand that it's their team.”
“They had more focus as a team, it seemed like they cared more about the game than we did and they definitely showed it in the game." – Charlotte guard Stephen Jackson