Kendrick Perkins has had at least one assist in the past three games, including a career-high tying six against Utah on Tuesday.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he has made it a point to run offense through Perkins at times to keep him involved and take advantage of his unheralded passing skills.
“I'm doing a better job of letting him touch the ball more,” Brooks said. “Earlier in the season, he was facilitating our offense at times, whether it was at the low post and passing out or at the elbow. I thought we needed to go back to that, because when you have guys that touch the ball they feel better about themselves and they just play better basketball.”
IVEY GETS THE NOD
Unhappy with how his team defended in a first quarter that saw Houston outscore the Thunder 29-13 on Wednesday, Brooks opted to play Royal Ivey at the beginning of the second quarter rather than maintain his customary substitution pattern and stick with Daequan Cook. Ivey had appeared in only five games, playing mostly mop-up minutes, prior to Wednesday's meaningful stint.
“I just felt that Royal earned that opportunity,” Brooks said. “One of the things that he does, he brings energy, he brings toughness and the guys respond when he does play. Even in a practice setting, he brings it every time. I felt that we needed that energy, because we weren't scoring but we were giving up too many points in that first quarter and I didn't want the game to turn out to be a bad game all the way around. But I give him credit. He came in and hasn't played a lot of early-game minutes and he did a good job.”
REID FINALLY MAKES IT
Ryan Reid officially fulfilled his NBA dream on Tuesday against Utah. When he checked into the game in the closing minutes, it marked his NBA debut and put him in the record books for logging playing time. It's a journey few that he'd ever complete coming out of Florida State as an improbable 57th pick even in the 2010 draft.
“It feels good,” Reid said. “I got an opportunity I always wanted, and I just went in there and tried to make the best of it. It just felt real good being out there.”
Reid definitely made the most of it. In four minutes, he scored four points with one rebound. His last bucket came on a reverse layup after some nifty footwork under the basket.
“Hopefully I get an opportunity again,” Reid said. “I'll just try my best. Everybody is not going to always have a good day, but hopefully when I go out there I do what I'm supposed to do.”
Asked how his debut compared to how he dreamed it would be, Reid said “I'm still thinking about it like, ‘Man, is it true?'”
The Thunder did not practice Thursday after a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday…Kevin Durant will serve as coach of the West All-Star Celebrities on Friday, Feb. 24 during Jam Session at All-Star Weekend. Dwight Howard will coach the East Celebrities. The All-Star Celebrity Game will be televised on ESPN at 6 p.m…The league office rescinded a technical foul called on Perkins from Feb. 3 game against Memphis. Perkins officially has nine technical fouls after picking up another one Wednesday at Houston. But the tech Perk was called for against the Rockets was under review on Thursday, and it is likely to get rescinded as well. If so, it would leave Perkins with eight technicals, five shy of facing an automatic one-game suspension.
Brooks on New York point guard Jeremy Lin: “Is that amazing what he's doing? It's incredible. It's incredible. People are saying it's the system and it's the opportunity. No. He's a player. The system has nothing to do with that kid playing as well as he's playing.”