MIAMI, Fla. — Kendrick Perkins said Wednesday he wasn't criticizing Thunder coach Scott Brooks after Game 4 when he questioned Brooks' rotation of players.
“I'll roll with Coach Brooks all day, so it wasn't nothing directed at him,” Perkins said the day after Oklahoma City's 104-98 loss gave the Heat a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. “It wasn't nothing to that nature.”
The Thunder built a 17-point first quarter lead before squandering it during a five-minute stretch.
“I just don't understand why we start out the first quarter the way we did, with the lineup that we had, and all of a sudden we change and adjust to what they had going on,” Perkins said after Game 4. “So they won the last three quarters, and that's what happened.”
Asked whether he was referring to the group that built the 17-point lead, a group that included Perkins, the veteran center said, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.”
Oklahoma City faces Miami at 8 p.m. Thursday at American Airlines Arena. The Heat could claim the NBA title with a fourth straight victory.
On Thursday, Perkins attempted to clarify his remarks, explaining “all of its frustration.”
“At the end of the day, we've got a group of guys who are all capable of playing well and making plays,” he said. “At the end of the day, Coach is trying to coach and win games.”
Asked Wednesday about Perkins' comments, Brooks said "I don't think the game comes down to who plays and who doesn't play. It's how we play."