With 32 games left in the regular season, Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins already has 11 technical fouls on the season.
A player serves a one-game suspension once he gets his 13th technical foul and for every other technical foul thereafter. (The usual limit is 16, but that was reduced proportionately because of the 66-game season.)
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he is concerned about possibly losing Perkins to multiple suspensions.
"It's going to be very difficult for Perk to not engage in any physical activity on the court that referees deem it's a little excessive, but he has to," Brooks said. "You've got to play within the league rules. We can't afford to have guys miss games. He knows he has to control his emotions. Perk brings that every night. We don't want to take that part away from his game, but he can't go above than what's needed. We need him to play with a lot of anger."
Perkins didn't seem concerned.
"I done been here before," Perkins said with a smile before Thursday night's home game against the Los Angeles Lakers. "Twice before."
You've had 11 this early in the season?
"Yeah," Perkins said, still smiling.
Did you ever earn a one-game suspension?
"No. Never," Perkins said, still smiling.
So, you're good to go?
"Yeah," Perkins, still smiling as he walked away.
Reserve forward Nick Collison missed Thursday night's 100-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena because of a quad injury located just above his left knee. It was the third straight game Collison has missed.
"He was feeling much better (Thursday), but it's not quite ready," Brooks said. "I assume he'll be fine after the (All-Star) break."
Thunder reserve guard James Harden, who had an injured left (shooting) wrist, was a game-time decision to play. He entered with 3:59 left in the first quarter, played 32 minutes and had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists, but five turnovers.
Actor Rob Lowe was in attendance and sat with OKC ownership group next to the Thunder bench. … The Thunder went from facing the league's worst rebounding team in Boston (38.8) on Wednesday night to the NBA's best rebounding team in the Lakers (45.8). OKC outrebounded both the Celtics (43-32) and the Lakers (44-41). … OKC led 46-43 at halftime despite having nine turnovers and just five assists. The Thunder committed just three turnovers in the second half. … A private charter carrying 13 members of the Thunder's operating staff flew to Orlando after Thursday's game for All-Star Weekend. OKC will be widely represented by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Brooks and his entire coaching staff.
The Thunder goes into the All-Star break with a 27-7 record, tied with Miami for the NBA's best mark.
The best start in franchise history was 29-6 by the 1997-98 Seattle SuperSonics, who finished 61-21.
OKC has now won 12 straight at The Peake and is 15-1 at home overall.
Thunder starting guard Daequan Cook came out firing in the second half, attempting six 3-pointers in slightly less than six minutes, and hitting two. He finished with eight points and shot 2 for 7 from 3-point range.
Cook has now made 9 of his last 49 3-pointers.
Asked if it feels like he's getting his shooting stroke back, Cook said: "It really wasn't gone. I just missed some shots. All my shots felt the same, felt good. I don't really feel like it was gone, the shots just didn't want to fall for me at that time."
Meanwhile, Lakers forward Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), who entered the game shooting 21.2 percent on 3-pointers for the season, went 3 for 5.
With All-Star break upon us, the Thunder's next game will be Wednesday at Philadelphia, followed by a Thursday game at Orlando, which will be OKC's last back-to-back road games of the season. That is followed by a March 3 game at Atlanta. The Thunder then returns home for five straight games.
Brooks on whether Three-Point Contest participant Durant should seek coaching tips from Cook, who won the competition in 2009: "I hope so because last year's performance was pathetic. Sometimes when you're receptive to coaches is when you need them, and right now he needs coaching. He hasn't done well in that 3-point contest. We need to bring back the H-O-R-S-E contest so he can bring something home."
(Durant finished last in the competition at Staples Center last year, scoring just six points.)